Says press needs to draw a line
PTI, NEW DELHI: The press should "draw a line" and strike a balance as media trial of cases cannot be allowed, the Supreme Court said Tuesday while hearing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case in which several women were allegedly raped and abused.
The apex court, which was dealing with a plea challenging a Patna High Court order restraining the media from reporting on the investigation into the Muzaffarpur shelter home case, said the issue was not "simple".
"It is not such a simple matter. The media goes to one complete extreme at a point. There has to be a balance. You cannot say whatever you feel like saying. You cannot have media trials. Tell us where to draw the line," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the petitioner, told the bench that the high court had imposed a "blanket ban" on the media in the case.
The apex court issued notices to the Bihar government and the CBI, which is probing the case, on the petition and sought their replies by September 18, the next date of hearing.
The bench was also informed that the high court had on August 29 passed an order appointing a lady advocate as an amicus in the case pending there and asked her to visit the place where the alleged victims were staying and interview them for the purpose of their rehabilitation.
SC said the direction asking the amicus to interview these alleged victims was "totally in conflict" with its earlier order, by which it had asked the media not to interview these minor girls.
The bench made it clear that the probe agency should take the assistance of professional counsellors and qualified child psychiatrist to question them.