The Bombay High Court today asked Republic TV whether "asking the public about their opinion on who should be arrested" is a part of "investigative journalism".
The court was hearing PILs over the "media trial" being conducted in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The bench asked the question to Republic's counsel Malvika Trivedi, LiveLaw reported, in reference to the channel using the hashtag #ArrestRhea during its coverage.
According to LiveLaw, Trivedi had submitted earlier that Republic was "carrying out investigative journalism to unearth the facts" related to Rajput's death.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice GS Kulkarni, said: "Is this part of investigative journalism? Asking public about their opinion on who should be arrested?...When a case is under investigation and the issue is whether it is a homicide or suicide and a channel is saying it is murder, is that investigative journalism?"
The bench said that "investigative powers are given to the police" under the Criminal Procedure Code. It also referred to guidelines on suicide reporting, LiveLaw said, adding that there should be "no sensational headlines". "Don't you have respect for the dead? It is so unfortunate."
In the previous hearing yesterday, the National Broadcasters Association had submitted that "no judicial intervention was required to issue guidelines for the electronic media as there was a functional self-regulation mechanism already in place".
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