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Is Media Trial A ‘New Normal’ In India

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Over the past couple of years, there is a massive influence on electronic media and Social media. We all know the importance of both the media, including the print media, but with the current scenario of ‘Media Trials’ in various cases, now has become a trend among the people. In some cases, the influence of Media trials can beneficial, but we should also make sure that the trial by media shouldn’t hamper the fair investigation by the investigation agency. And most importantly, it doesn’t spoil the benefit of defense of the accused in any way. 

As we all have witnessed, the recent example is the reportage of the Sushant Singh Rajput case and the Hathras Case. The news reported with media chasing actor’s car, retrieving actor’s Whatsapp messages on the TV screen, or witch-hunting a woman; Indian media has already put a question mark on the registered status of the legal evidence. A prominent journalist revealed Actress Deepika Padukone’s Whatsapp chats as “Exclusive Evidence” and claimed that these messages had been reclaimed by the NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau). We need to think that how it is even possible that these news agencies can have direct access to someone’s personal chat and have that authorization to share this ‘Self Allegedly Evidence’ in their channels. Sharing these so-called shreds of evidence as “Leaked” and “Exclusive Evidence” and depicting their conspiracy theories by manipulating people’s minds so that they can declare their version of the truth.

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Pic Courtesy : Google

Even in the case of Hathra’s case, there was an audio clip of a private conversation between a Journalist and the brother of the Hathras alleged gang-rape victim was published publically. This incident clearly shows that the family of Hathras case’s phones was tapped. Which raises many questions like why the phones of victim family were tapped on what legal ground? And even it was tapped how the conversation clip ended at the news company and social media?

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Pic Courtesy : Google

These channels now have direct access to obtain the classified pieces of evidence from the investigating agencies and the police. The evidence or proof against any accused or a criminal is supposed to be preserved, but it is broadcasted on the Primetime shows and circulated on social media, which is quite alarming.

There are several other incidences where such private evidence is “Leaked” and are shown as the prime time news in these news channels. These incidences of media reportage and trials on the grounds of illegally seizing evidence raise the concern of democracy and moral ethics.

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Pic Courtesy : Google

Now the Indian media has become both peers and the judge. Irrespective of the consequences and the public manipulation, these ‘Media Trial’ has become more vicious for the Indian Legal System.

Article Written by Dikhya Mohanty

Image Source: Google

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