The Supreme Court on Thursday "observed that selective disclosures to the media during investigation of crime affect the rights of the accused and the rights of victims", Live Law .
This observation was made by the bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, when cancelling anticipatory bail granted to the in-laws of a women who died in a case of alleged dowry death in Uttar Pradesh. In this case, within days of the woman's death, newspapers in Agra reported on an alleged suicide note.
“The media does have a legitimate stake in fair reporting,” Chandrachud said. “But events such as what has happened in this case show how the selective divulging of information, including the disclosure of material which may eventually form a crucial part of the evidentiary record at the crucial part of the evidentiary record at the criminal trial, can be used to derail the administration of criminal justice.”
The bench said: “This is not fair to the accused because it pulls the rug below the presumption of innocence. It is not fair to the victims of crime, if they have survived the crime, and where they have not, to their families. Neither the victims nor their families have a platform to answer the publication of lurid details about their lives and circumstances."
The case in question was then transferred to the CBI.
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