On October 21, 2020, the Bombay High Court questioned Republic TV and said that does investigative journalism includes asking viewers of who should be arrested and infringement upon a person’s rights.
A large number of Public Interest Litigation had been filed before the court of law for an order seeking a restriction on media reporting actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S Kulkarni heard the Public Interest Litigation on the above matter in the Bombay High court on Wednesday.
Malvika Trivedi represented Republic TV while additional solicitor general Anil Singh was the counsel for the government. The court after hearing both the parties said “When a case is under investigation and the issue is whether it is a homicide or a suicide and a channel saying it is murder, is this investigative journalism?” The bench questioned the channel’s counsel on why the channel had broadcasted photos of Sushant’s body and speculated on whether it is a homicide or a suicide. The court further asked why #Arrest Rhea is part of the channel’s news. The court reprimanded the channel and said that the basic journalism norm has to be maintained for suicide reporting where there should be no sensational headlines, no constant repeating and the channel has clearly not followed them. This Public Interest Litigation was filed in view to restrict sections of media running a smear campaign against actress Rhea Chakraborty along with a restriction on reporting of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The court also said that such reporting by the channel on the case where the investigation is still in progress is an infringement of the right of actress Rhea Chakraborty. The bench concluded by asking all the parties to clarify if a statutory mechanism was required to regulate the content broadcast by the news channels.