A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking to direct the editor-in-chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami as well as his media company, to immediately refrain from publishing or broadcasting any information or news related to any criminal investigation in the name of investigative journalism.
The PIL filed by one Mohd Khalil sought a direction to the Central Government to frame rules and regulations to govern reporting or broadcasting of any news related to any criminal investigation by any media outlet.
Subsequently, on Friday, the petition was listed before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, who had asked the petitioner to come on the next date i.e. on 27th November 27 with his suggestions on the kind of rules that can be framed to regulate media reporting of criminal probes.
The PIL contended that through the broadcasts and publications made by Arnab and his news channel i.e. Republic TV, they have been reporting distorted and misleading facts related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Further, the petitioner argued that such reporting has resulted in the infringement of the right to a fair trial for Rhea Chakraborty.
Further, the plea also sought for the initiation of contempt proceedings against Goswami and his channel for the alleged “prejudicial reporting” of the Sushant’s death case.
“The entire charade is nothing but an exercise to increase the TRPs and viewership at the cost of an accused’s right to a fair trial,” read the PIL.
Earlier, in a press conference held on Thursday, the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh stated that the city police are probing an alleged TRP scam where certain news channels manipulated BARC data to boost their ratings. He had reportedly identified Republic TV with regards to the TRP scam.