The Delhi High Court while hearing a petition in relation to the documentary India’s Daughter has reportedly observed,"Media trials do tend to influence judges. Subconsciously a pressure is created and it does have an effect on the sentencing of the accused/convict."
Declining to pass interim orders in the BBC Documentary case, the Bench of Justices BD Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva observed, “Had it been originally placed before us, we would have asked you to place material before us on why ban be lifted. But it has come here from the roster bench of Chief Justice, so we will not pass any interim orders. Let the roster bench decide it.” The petition has now been listed for March 18.
The High Court also observed, "We are prima facie not opposed to airing of the documentary, but only after the Supreme Court decides the appeals.” The Bench also added the views shown by Mukesh, the rape accused in the documentary could impact his case as he in the documentary shows no sense of remorse.
Highlighting the unregulated working of media, the Court said, “It said that earlier media had a self imposed code of not reporting sub-judice matters, but now "media has thrown it (the code) to the winds."
The High Court had earlier refused to grant urgent hearing to two public interest litigations filed by law student who were praying that the ban on BBC Documentary, India’s daughter be lifted. They had submitted that the ban was against their fundamental rights and was hence unconstitutional.
One of the petitions had also prayed for expedited action against Advocate ML Sharma, who had represented Mukesh and figures in the documentary.
The matters will now come up before the appropriate Bench on March 18.
You may read previous coverage of the issue relating to BBC’s documentary here.
You may also read more of our coverage on Media Trials here.