A high court in India is set to seize three petitions calling for the media to be barred from reporting on the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the ongoing investigation into him, Scroll.in reported Tuesday.
The Bombay High Court today issued an opinion to the federal government regarding the last of three appeals, filed by a non-governmental organization called In Pursuit of Justice. The first plea was filed by a filmmaker and two others, and the second by eight former police officers from the state of Maharashtra.
Rajput brutal death in June sparked a debate over the stigma of mental health, the rarefied insider world of Bollywood and, more recently, media condemnation for non-stop coverage of the dueling accusations between the Rajputs family and his girlfriend.
Mumbai police initially reported Rajput’s death as accidental and local media called it suicide. But the Federal Police Agency is currently investigating whether there has been a foul play and is interviewing Rajput’s girlfriend, actor Rhea Chakraborty and others.
The plea filed by the NGO aims for the court to broaden the scope of the law on contempt of court to include any obstruction that could hinder the functioning of justice from the moment a first report of investigation is filed in a case.
The recent wave of media reporting in the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s untimely demise and the extent of the media frenzy regarding all the issues and non-issues related to the incident are quite disturbing, according to the petition. This has given rise to an urgent need to find an acceptable constitutional balance between freedom of the press and the administration of justice.
The plea noted that the media had published personal conversations of Rajput and statements by the accused and hospital staff. Expressing fears that the report could undermine the investigation into the actor’s death, he said the press had already tried and convicted those accused, calling them names such as murderer, gold digger and accomplice.
The court clubbed all three petitions and will hold a joint hearing on them on October 8.
Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court ordered news houses to exercise restraint in their reporting on the investigation into the case, according to Scroll.in.
Earlier this month, Chakraborty was stopped by the Indian Department of Narcotics, which is investigating a drug case linked to the investigation into Rajput’s death. She denies any wrongdoing and her lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, has called the arrest a travesty of justice.
Along the way, the story has become a media obsession in India, fueled by a wave of television coverage that continues to swell three months after Rajput, 34, was found dead in his Mumbai apartment.
In recent weeks, Indian TV stations have given more air time to the Rajput affair than to India, an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, a plane crash and articles leading policies, according to the Broadcast Audience Research Council.
Loud Indian TV networks, which include more than 350 news channels in English and several local languages, broadcast photos of Rajputs’ bodies, analyzed their medical prescriptions, even used voodoo dolls and graphics of a skull to exaggerate the claims that black magic was performed on the actor.
Federal police, the Mumbai High Court and the Indian government’s press council have all criticized the coverage of the investigation.
I’ve spent 21 years on TV and I’ve never seen such a bad race to the bottom, said Nidhi Razdan, who recently left the Indian News Network. NDTV teach journalism.
It’s a media trial. What else is it? she says. I’ve never seen this kind of nastiness in the cover before.
Before his death on June 14, Rajput, best known for portraying India’s cricket captain in a biopic, and his girlfriend were more likely to be portrayed as such a handsome down-to-earth couple from Bollywood, got together. cuddling disheveled hair at home or playfully sitting in jeans on a dilapidated park bench.
Chakraborty, 28, was regularly stalked by reporters when she appeared in public, with press commentators commenting on her innocence or guilt.
The Rajputs family claim that they poisoned him, used black magic and is responsible for his death.
There has been a conspiracy to break me, my family and my mind, Chakraborty said in an interview with TV presenter Rajdeep Sardesai in late August. It is the systematic collapse of an innocent family, an innocent girl who loved an innocent boy.
Earlier this month, she was pushed around by a pack of journalists as she tried to enter a narcotics department office in Mumbai, where police struggled to disperse the crowds.
Disgusting, journalist Swati Chaturvedi wrote on Twitter. Alaka Sahani, an elderly person Indian Express reporter, said: The stalked footage of Rhea makes my stomach vomit.
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