The Allahabad High Court today observed that a journalist is "not expected to dramatise a sensational and horrifying event and make news by putting his actor in [a] pitiable condition in danger of death".
The court was hearing a bail plea moved by journalist Shameem Ahmed, who is accused of inducing a man to die by suicide for it to be filmed, .
Refusing to grant bail to Ahmed, Justice Vikas Kunvar Srivastav said there was enough material against the journalist to prove him guilty. The court also noted that the deceased’s wife, who was mentally distressed by her husband's financial condition, would be “in danger” if the accused is let free.
The court said a journalist's job is to "keep an eye on the anticipated or sudden events happening in the society and bring them to the information of all the people...without any tampering".
Bar and Bench reported that on October 24, 2020, journalists Shameem Ahmed and co-accused Naushad Ahmad had allegedly induced one Surendra Chakraborty to set himself ablaze in front of the Vidhan Sabha Bhawan so that they could film the incident and telecast it. Chakraborty’s wife subsequent filed a complaint. They were charged under penal sections including abetment of suicide.
Another accused in the case is Zaved Khan, who had rented his house to Chakraborty for the past 10-12 years. He had allegedly passed the comment to "go and die" and had purportedly harassed the Chakrabortys to get them to vacate the house.