Positive Outome of Media Coverage of Criminal Trials in India
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In India, the growing phenomenon of activist media coverage of criminal trials has seen some positive outcomes. It is even arguable that until India’s rotten criminal justice system is reformed, the judiciary must tolerate journalistic vigilantism. A journalist must not be given an absolute free reign to wantonly declare an accused person as innocent or guilty.
Any institution, be it legislature, executive, judiciary or bureaucracy, is liable to be abused if it exceeds its legitimate jurisdiction and functions. But sometimes these ultra vires activities are blessing in disguise as is the case of judicial activism. Media trial is also an appreciable effort along with the innovative sting operations as it keeps a close watch over the investigations and activities of police administration and executive. But there must be a reasonable self-restriction over its arena and due emphasis should be given to the fair trial and court procedures must be respected with adequate sense of responsibility. Media should acknowledge the fact that whatever they publish has a great impact over the spectator. Therefore, it is the moral duty of media to show the truth and that too at the right time.
No person charged of any crime should be judged by the media because that person is innocent until proven guilty, and it one the basic premise of criminal jurisprudence. And, no one, and this includes also the media, should be allowed to temper with the functioning of law. The rule of law as