The Pros And Cons Of The Print And Electronic Media

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The print and electronic media have gone into fierce and ruthless competition, as we call them ‘aggressive journalism’. The most reckoning research on the positive and negative aspects of media trial has been elaborated in 200th report of the Law Commission entitled Trial by Media: Free Speech vs. Fair Trial Under Criminal Procedure (Amendments to the Contempt of Court Act, 1971) that has made recommendations to address the damaging effect of sensationalized news reports on the administration of justice. While the report has yet to be made public, news reports indicate that the Commission has recommended prohibiting publication of anything that is prejudicial towards the accused — a restriction that shall operate from the time of arrest. It also reportedly recommends that the High Court be empowered to direct postponement of publication or telecast in criminal cases. The report noted that at present, under Section 3 (2) of the Contempt of Court Act, such publications would be contempt only if a charge sheet had been filed in a criminal case. The Commission has suggested that the starting point of a criminal case should be from the time of arrest of an accused and not from the time of filing of the charge sheet. In the perception of the Commission such an amendment would prevent the media from prejudging or prejudicing the case. Another controversial recommendation suggested was to empower the High Court to direct a print or an electronic media to postpone publication or

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