Delhi HC dismisses petition seeking guidelines for media reporting on criminal investigations

The petition filed last year also sought a direction to restrain Republic editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami from broadcasting any news pertaining to any criminal investigation in the name of investigative journalism or on the basis of anonymous sources.

The Delhi High Court Thursday declined to entertain a public interest petition seeking framing of guidelines to govern the reporting and broadcasting of any news related to criminal investigations, saying that such a policy decision to enact the rules and regulations is the “prerogative power” of the state authorities.

“We see therefore no reason to entertain this writ petition and draft the rules and regulations by this court. So far as guidelines to govern the reporting and broadcasting are concerned, a representation can always be preferred by this petitioner to the concerned respondent authority,” said the division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

It added that as and when such representation is preferred, the concerned authority will decide the same in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies.

The petition filed last year also sought a direction to restrain Republic editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami from broadcasting any news pertaining to any criminal investigation in the name of investigative journalism or on the basis of anonymous sources. The petition was filed in the backdrop of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

It alleged that the “entire charade” undertaken by the television channels is nothing “but an exercise to increase its TRPs and viewership at the cost of the accused’s right to fair trial”.

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