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Delhi High Court Declines To Entertain PIL Against Media Trial Of Wrestler Sushil Kumar

Shreya Agarwal
28 May 2021 2:25 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Declines To Entertain PIL Against Media Trial Of Wrestler Sushil Kumar
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A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh of the Delhi High Court today declined to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed before it seeking directions against the media trial of wrestler Sushil Kumar in the Chhatrasal Stadium murder case.The counsel for the petitioner moved Court stating that, Kumar's reputation and career had been...

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A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh of the Delhi High Court today declined to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed before it seeking directions against the media trial of wrestler Sushil Kumar in the Chhatrasal Stadium murder case.

The counsel for the petitioner moved Court stating that, Kumar's reputation and career had been "completely sabotaged" by the sensationalized reporting by several media channels in the matter. He attributed this to the fact that while "there are many judgments of the Supreme Court (on media trials)," "in no case have any guidelines been laid down about reporting in criminal matters."

Declining to entertain the PIL, the court said that as the petition was making a case of defamation against one man, he himself had to come to court seeking due remedy, and that a 'public interest litigation' would not lie in such matters.

Dictating the order, Chief Justice DN Patel said, "It appears that all these contentions have been raised for one Sushil Kumar, against whom there is alleged defamation. The PIL has been preferred for a person who is a vigilant man, liberty is given to the person actually aggrieved to approach the appropriate forum in appropriate proceedings. With these observations, the petition is disposed of."

The plea had sough directions to restrain the media trial of Sushil Kumar, saying that his career, reputation and dignity had been raffled by the media with help of the Delhi Police.

The plea stated that the media trial would cause prejudice to his 'free and fair trial' which is his fundamental right under the Constitution.

"The excessive publicity of the accused or the suspect in the media before the trial in a court of law, either incriminates a fair trial or results in characterising the accused or suspect as the one who has certainly committed the crime, this amounts to undue interference with the "administration of justice", which calls for proceedings against media for contempt of court," it read.

The petitioners thereby sought directions to the Centre and Delhi Police for making standard rules for reporting in criminal cases by considering the right of the accused and to restrain the media trial.

Further, directions were also sought to media channels, including AajTak ,India Today, Crime Tak Media Networks, News Nation, Zee News Network, Republic Bharat and Republic, and The Lallantop to stop reporting in this case "with distorted and malignant facts and sensational keywords."

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