Consentia on Multidisciplinary Research

TRIAL BY MEDIA

 Introduction

It is pertinent to consider the responsibilities of media in democratic society because freedom of press has been provided by Art. 19(1)(a)  to media for welfare of public but rather then working in public interest, today media is interfering with administration of justice. At present media enjoy unrestricted freedom in publishing information regarding criminal proceeding, which prejudice the mind of judge as well as public. Media tries to perform the function of the court by conducting trial for asserting guilty or innocence of accused before or during criminal proceeding, which can prejudice the mind of judges and therefore there is need to put reasonable restriction upon freedom of press under Art.19 (2) of the Constitution of India.

According to the Blackstone[1], Liberty of the press is essential to the state and no prior restraints should be placed upon publication but it doesn’t mean that media is free for doing what is prohibited by law. Every free person has the right to put its sentiment before the public, but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal then he will be responsible for the bad consequences.

According to the Art.21 of Constitution of India, accused is having right of fair trial but due to excessive publicity in the media about suspect or accused before trial prejudice a fair trial thus it amount to undue interference with administration of justice. Today media is creating problems for witnesses because if any publication made by media regarding witnesses, which make witnesses an object of  public criticism then that witnesses may not appear before court, which will affect accused right of fair trial.

There is need to consider freedom of press on one hand and due process rights of the suspect or accused on another hand, so that correct balance can be strike between them. At present there is a need to do modification under Contempt of Court Act, 1971 for imposing reasonable restriction upon media. The Supreme Court in Maneka Gandhi case held that procedure established by law should be fair, just and equitable and therefore we have to consider that after modification under Contempt of Court Act, whether the procedure to restrict freedom of speech and expression will be fair, just and equitable or not?

Media and its importance

The term ‘liberty’ is pertinent under democracy as it gives power to people to elect its own government and thereby it provides power to people for  raising their voice freely without any restraint for their rights and therefore we can consider that providing liberty is the first and foremost step toward proper democracy. Different kinds of liberties has been provided by various provisions under our Constitution like, people are having right to life and personal liberty, freedom of free speech and expression, right to know etc. and with advancement in mass communication technology people are able to utilize their rights up to the maximum level. In present scenario media is the fourth pillar of the democracy as it serves very important work of mass communication of information to the citizen of India as well as it also recognition rights and liberties of the citizen of India. With advancement in technology the methods of communicating one’s idea, thought etc., became very fast through print or electronic media and thereby media serve as right platform for building public opinions and views regarding various topics related to regional, national and international agenda.

In recent era media is having great impact over society as due to rapid growth of the cable, television, local radio network and internet etc. In India, the circulation of the newspapers and magazines are growing rapidly as we have seen rapidly increasing literacy level, so here we can consider that media is having great accountability to utilize its freedom of press in public interest rather then in which public is having interest. Media is a primary source of information for public about legislative, executive and judiciary function of the government and therefore our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has said about press freedom:

Freedom of Press Is an Article Of Faith with Us, Sanctified By Our Constitution, Validated By Four Decades of Freedom and Indispensable to Our Future as a Nation

History about freedom of press

The framer of the Indian constitution had understood the importance of freedom of press under democracy as they were having their own experience of governmental repression during colonial rule. The fundamental rights guaranteed under part 3rd of the Constitution are not only the result of international sentiment about human right after second world war but the demand for constitutional guarantees of basic human rights for Indian made in 1895 in the Constitution of India Bill, this bill formed basis for India a Constitution guaranteeing to every citizen varieties of freedom as well as freedom of press. The debut of the press was made in India for commercial interest by East India Company but later it was manipulated by Indian to serve their own interest and they started using press as effective weapon against British government during freedom struggle and therefore British government brought repressive laws and passed judgment for curbing press freedom.

The framer of the Constitution have seen power of media and understood its importance under democracy and therefore they believed that the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom of press are indispensable and thereby this concept of free press formed basis for free political opinion and right to criticize the government. They have given importance to the thinking of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who said, “I would rather have a completely free press with all the dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom than a suppressed and regulated press.” So here we can understand that how it is important to have freedom of press under democracy that freedom of press has been guaranteed by part 3rd of the Constitution of India.

Indian constitution and freedom of press

According to Art.19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution, all citizen of India is having the freedom of speech and expression mean right to express one’s ideas , thought , feeling, views and opinions freely by means of mouth, writing , picture printing or by any other methods. Although freedom of press has not been expressly mentioned in Art. 19(1) (a) but the Supreme Court has held that the freedom of press is implicit in the guarantee of freedom of speech and expression. Accordingly freedom of press is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India[2]. According to the constitutional advisor, Dr. B.N. Rau, it was hardly necessary to provide freedom of the press specifically, because freedom of expression would include freedom of the press. Every citizen can express one’s own ideas and thoughts by any communicable medium. The Expression connotes publication and freedom of press has been included in this category. Free propagation of idea is the necessary objective of publication which can be done by press. Free propagation of idea is based upon circulation and therefore, apex court held that the freedom includes the freedom of ideas, their publication and circulation[3]. It was stated in Hamdard Dawakhana v. Union of India, that the right includes the right to acquire and impart ideas and information about matters of common interest[4]. The right under Art 19(1) (a) includes the right to information and the right to disseminate through all types of media, whether print, electronic or audio-visual[5]. So here we can consider that the press is playing role of educator making formal and non formal education in the large scale particularly in the developing world, where television and other kinds of modern communication are available for all section of the society[6] and thereby the primary function of press is to provide honestly the comprehensive and objective information of aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life to people because citizen is having [7]right to know and right to access information. It put lots of responsibility over media that it should provide right information to society without infringing fundamental rights of citizen of the India.

Media trial and Art.19 (2) of the Indian Constitution.

The freedom of press is not absolute but subjected to reasonable restrictions imposed by Art.19 (2)[8] of the Constitution of India on the right, in the interest of various matter, one of which is fair administration of justice and therefore media has to conduct its activities carefully keeping in mind the reasonable restrictions but at present media is utilizing its rights for its own commercial interest as it is having undue interference in the process of administration of justice and therefore trial conduct by the media is falling under the category of  contempt of court which deal with non interference with administration of justice. The term contempt of court has been defined under section 2 of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, it defines criminal contempt as:

‘Criminal contempt’ means the publication, (whether by words, spoken or written or by signs, or by visible representations, or otherwise), of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which, (ii) prejudices or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceedings; or (iii) interferes or tends to interfere with or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any manner”.

 According to section 3 (1), a person shall not be guilty of contempt of Court on the ground that he has published (whether by words spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise) any matter which interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the course of justice in connection with any civil or criminal proceeding pending at the time of publication, if at that time he had no reasonable grounds for believing that the proceeding was pending.

The concept of media trial came recently, the term “Trial” is associated with the process of providing justice and it is the essential component on any judicial system that the accused should receive a fair trial. Trial includes investigation, collection of evidences, examination and finally the judgment. Trial of a case is essentially a process to be carried out by the courts but when it is carried by the media it is called as “Media Trial”.

In the recent time we have seen that media used to interfere in court proceeding which infringes  the right of the fair trial of suspect or accused because during its trial media is always highlighting matter related to case and because of advancement in mass communication technology its became easy to carry information to people about case and therefore when media show crime or suspect or accused in television and cable channel it serve as platform for forming public opinion about suspect or accused which can prejudice fair trial. Innocent may be condemned for no reason, those who are guilty may not get fair trial or may get higher sentence after trial then they deserved. In Zahira Habibullah Sheikh v. State of Gujarat[9], the Supreme Court explained that a “fair trial obviously would mean a trial before an impartial Judge, a fair prosecutor and atmosphere of judicial calm. Fair trial means a trial in which bias or prejudice for or against the accused, the witnesses, or the cause which is being tried is eliminated.”

In Amarinder singh v. parkash singh[10], Supreme Court held that the assurance of fair trial, uninfluenced by extraneous consideration is first imperative of dispensation of justice and therefore Supreme held that a trial by press, electronic media or by way of a public agitation is the very anti-thesis of rule of law and can lead to miscarriage of justice. A Judge is to guard himself against such pressure[11].

If media exercises an unrestricted or rather unregulated freedom in publishing information about a criminal case and prejudices the mind of the public and those who are to adjudicate on the guilt of the accused and if it projects a suspect or an accused as if he has already been adjudged guilty well before the trial in court, there can be serious prejudice to the accused. In fact, even if ultimately the person is acquitted after the due process in courts, such an acquittal may not help the accused to rebuild his lost image in society[12].

This is an excepted view in US that trained judges and even jurors are not influenced by the publication in media but this view was not accepted in England in Attorney General v. BBC[13], Lord Dilhorne who stated that judge and jurors may be influenced subconsciously. The Supreme Court[14]accepted view of the Anglo Saxon law that judges can be influence by improper pressure. In what manner judges are influenced may not be visible from its judgment, but they may be influenced subconsciously and same thing had been accepted by Justice Frankfruter  who stated that the judiciary could not function in proper way if media reasonably disturb judge in its duty. The judiciary is not independent unless courts of justice are enabled to administer law by absence of pressure from pressure of disfavor.

When media do excessive publicity about suspect or accused before trial then it will prejudice the fair trial or it will result in characterising as a person who had definitely committed the crime, it amounts to undue interference with the “administration of justice”, calling for proceedings for contempt of court against the media. The Supreme court held “No occasion should arise for an impression that the publicity attached to these matters has tended to dilute the emphasis on the essentials of a fair trial and the basic principles of jurisprudence including the presumption of innocence of the accused unless found guilty at the end of the trial”[15] and today media has completely neglected the vital gap between an accused and a convict keeping at stake the golden principles of ‘presumption of innocence until proven guilty’ and ‘guilt beyond reasonable doubt’.

In Mother Dairy Foods & Processing Ltd v. Zee Telefilms[16], Delhi High Court held that journalism and ethics stand apart. While journalists are distinctive facilitators for the democratic process to function without hindrance the media has to follow the virtues of ‘accuracy, honesty, truth, objectivity, fairness, balanced reporting, respect or autonomy of ordinary people’. These are all part of the democratic process. But practical considerations, namely, pursuit of successful career, promotion to be obtained, compulsion of meeting deadlines and satisfying Media Managers by meeting growth targets, are recognized as factors for the ‘temptation to print trivial stories salaciously presented’. In the temptation to sell stories, what is presented is what ‘public is interested in’ rather than ‘what is in public interest.

In recent time the media has started conducting parallel investigations and by this it tries to convict innocent person and also tries to project bad image of accused person although his is innocent .It tries to find fault with the investigation process for getting breaking new and as a result, it raises suspicions in the minds of the public about the efficiency of the official investigation machinery. So here media conduct is falling under contempt of court due to undue interference with administration of justice.

According to Art.19 (2) ,”Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause, in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence”.

After due consideration of Art.19 (2) we able to find that freedom of press is subject to reasonable restriction, so for implementation of this article we require imposition reasonable restrictions by authority of law because freedom of press cannot be curtail by executive order or administrative instruction. It also requires that law must fall within one or more heads of reasonable restrictions. Restrictions cannot be imposed on the omnibus ground as ‘in the interest of general public’[17]. Restrictions must be reasonable and it must not be excessive and it will be open for judicial review.

If a person is having liberty then he should not infringe others liberty and therefore in A.k. Gopalan’s case court observed that “man as a rational being desires to do many things, but in a civil society his desires will have to be controlled with the exercise of similar desires by other individuals”[18]. Lord Mansfield defined liberty of the press, “consists in printing without any license subject to the consequences of law”. Thus the liberty of the press means liberty to print and publish what one pleases, without previous permission. It includes newspapers, periodicals and even pamphlets.[19] Therefore it is important to impose reasonable restrictions upon freedom of press.

Immunity granted to pre-trial publication under Contempt of Court Act, 1971.

According to section 3(2) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 read with explanation below section 3 which exclude  all publication made before the filing of charge sheet or challan in court or before issue of summon or warrant from the purview of criminal contempt, even if such publication interfere or tend to interfere in administration of justice but it is not a good law because the date of arrest should be treated  as starting point of pendency of criminal proceeding rather than the date of filing of charge sheet or challan. A person after arrest comes within the protection of the court and police has to bring him before the court within 24 hour as per Art.22 (2) of the Constitution of India.  If there are prejudicial publications after arrest and before bringing of suspect or accused before court, there are serious risk involved in getting released in bail. The prejudicial publication can affect right of fair trial of accused because such publication may relate to its previous conviction or about his general character or about his alleged confession to police etc. In Saibal v. B.K.Sen[20], Supreme Court held that “It would be mischievous for a newspaper to systematically conduct an independent investigation into a crime for which a man has been arrested and to publish the results of the investigation. This is because, trial by newspapers, when a trial by one of the regular tribunal is going on, must be prevented. The basis for this view is that such action on the part of the newspaper tends to interfere with the course of justice”.

It is pertinent to consider historical foundation for exclusion of publication made prior to filing of charge sheet or challan under sec. 173 of Cr.P.C. from the purview of Contempt of Court Act, 1971. After due consideration of law prior to 1971 regarding contempt of court i.e. the Contempt Act, 1926 and 1952, no definition of civil and criminal contempt was given by law prior to 1971. Court apply contempt law to publication having undue interference with administration of justice , if criminal proceeding was imminent and the person ‘ knew or should have known ‘that a proceeding was imminent  and therefore the main question is that when a criminal proceeding imminent ?

In Smt. Padmavathi Devi v. R.K Karanjia[21], Court held that complaint is lodged in the police station and an investigation is started, the matter becomes subjudice attracting the judicial power of the court to punish for contempt, but it is not good law in the view of decision in A.K. Gopalan v. Noordeen[22], Supreme Court held that a criminal proceeding is imminent only when arrest had taken place.

Government appointed the Sanyal committee to suggest change in 1955 Act. This committee submitted its report in 1963. This Committee accepted that in criminal matters date of arrest could be treated as starting point of pendency for the purpose of contempt law and therefore it is consistent with A.K. Gopalan case. But the joint committee of parliament in Para 16 of its report felt that the word “imminent” in relation to an impending proceeding is vague and is likely to unduly interference with the freedom of speech and expression but here joint committee doesn’t considered A.K. Gopalan case in which Supreme court held that the word ‘imminent’ meant the time when a person was arrested, though pendency was not to be reckoned from the time when a FIR was filed. The starting point was fixed by Supreme Court for creating balance between Art.19 (1) (a) and Art. 21 which guarantees due process and therefore need is there to modify Explanation below sec.3 specially clause (B) which relates to criminal proceeding , here there is need to include the arrest of the person in addition to filing of charge sheet or challan or issue of summon or warrant against the accused. In fact in UK, in New South Wales date of arrest is treated as the starting point of criminal proceeding.

It is pertinent to consider that whether treating date of arrest as starting point of criminal proceeding is unduly restricting freedom of expression or not. According to Art.19 (1) (a) of the constitution of India, every citizen is having freedom of speech and expression but it is not an absolute right because Constitution itself imposes reasonable restrictions on rights under Art.19 (2) for the purpose of contempt of court and for maintaining due process to protect liberty. The basic issue here is to strike balance between the freedom of press on one hand and due process rights of suspect or accused on another hand by imposing reasonable restrictions for stopping undue interference with administration of justice by media. The reasonable restriction should be fair and just and it should not unduly restrict the rights of freedom of press under Art.19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.  If any law made by the legislature is imposing restriction on freedom of speech and expression unreasonably then court is having power stuck down that law.

According to Section 3 of the Contempt of Court Act,1971, the freedom of speech and   expression which include freedom of press can be restricted, if any publication by media is having undue interference with administration of justice in connection with any civil or criminal proceeding which is actually pending but section 3(2) have allowed unrestricted freedom to make publication, granted immunity even if criminal contempt is committed, if such proceedings are not pending in the court at the time of publication. According to definition of pendency given by Explanation below of section 3 specially we have refer sub clause (B) of clause (a) of the explanation for pendency of criminal proceeding, the starting point of pendency of criminal proceeding starts from the stage where court get involved that is filing of charge sheet or challan or when court issue summon or warrant in criminal case against accused. Any publication before that event having undue interference with rights of suspect or accused for fair trial, in not a contempt because section 3 (2) start with word “Notwithstanding anything to contrary contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force “.

At present we have to consider that whether section 3(2) of the contempt of court Act is fair law and supporting Art. 21 of the Constitution of India which clearly state that “No person shall be derived of his life and personal liberty except procedure established by law”. In Maneka Gandhi v. UOI[23], the Supreme Court held that “procedure established by law” must be a law which is fair, just and equitable and which is not violative of the Art. 14 of the Constitution of India.  If any publication interfering with administration of justice in criminal proceeding, in respect of accused under arrest but the law give it immunity to such publication under section 3(2) because publication was made before the filing of the charge sheet or challan, is a procedure fair, just and equitable?

It is excepted view in UK and Australia that any publication made by media after a person’s arrest stating that the person has had previous conviction or confession to police during investigation or publication of photograph are treated as violative of due process required for accused who has to face criminal trial and it is accepted that such publication can prejudice that mind of the jury or judge. The procedure under section 3(2) read with Explanation of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 is not fair, just and equitable because the procedure section 3(2) read with explanation give immunity to such publication which is made after arrest and having tendency to prejudice mind of the judges and can affect accused right of impartial trial and therefore it is violative of Art. 14 of the Constitution of India. There is need to protect accused rights and therefore the prejudicial publication made after arrest must amount to undue interference with administration of justice.

It is pertinent to consider that after above proposed modification in Explanation (B) whether it will amount to unreasonable restriction upon freedom of speech and expression under Art.19 (1) (a). It will be reasonable because it is necessary as per fair due process to protect the administration of justice which include protection of rights of accused under arrest who is entitle to a procedure which is fair , just and equitable under Art. 21 and consistent with Art. 14 of the Constitution of India. It is reasonable because it is intended to prevent prejudice on the part of the judge and therefore this restriction is reasonable and will fall under Art. 19(2) of the Constitution of India.

International law perspective regarding rights of suspect or accused

According to criminal jurisprudence the accused is presumed to be innocent unless the contrary is proved in court of law and therefore it is necessary to provide all legal safeguard to accused. According to Constitution of India accused is having different rights like, right to silence mean right against self incrimination under Art. 20(3), it has right to life with personal liberty and right to fair trial under Art. 21, the person who is arrested has to be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest, all this rights has been provided by law to give legal protection to accused. International law has also recognized different rights of the accused to protect accused from injustice which is occurring due to undue interference with administration of justice by media.

It is important to consider fundamental concept of human rights under International conventions and the Madrid principles.

Universal declaration of human rights (1948)

  UDHR has recognized certain rights of the suspect or accused under its various articles, which is basic human right.  The accused is having full equality to a fair and public hearing by independent and impartial tribunal in the determination of his rights and obligation and of any criminal charge against him[24].  According to Art.11 (1) of UDHR, everyone charged with penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in the public trial at which he has all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

International covenant on civil and political rights, 1996

According to Article 14(2) of ICCPR, everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. In a criminal proceeding, according to Art. 14(3) (g), everyone shall be entitled that it should not be compel to testify against himself or to confess guilt.

European Convention for protection of human rights and fundamental freedom, 1950

According to Art.6(1) of the European Convention , in the determination of the civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him , everyone is entitled to affair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. According Art.6 (2), everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

The Madrid principle related to media and judicial independence

In January 1994, a group of legal expert and media representatives, convened by International commission of Jurist and the main objectives of meeting were to examine relationship between media and judicial independence as well as to formulate principle related to freedom of expression and judicial independence.

According to Madrid principle, freedom of speech and expression include freedom of press. It is a right and duty of media to gather and convey information to public and to comment on the administration of justice, including case before, during and after trial, without violating presumption of innocence. The basic principle has not excluded preservation by law of secrecy during investigation of crime even when investigation forms part of the judicial process because it will give benefit to suspect or accused for preserving presumption of innocence.

The law may restrict basic principle in relation to the criminal proceeding in the interest of administration of justice to the reasonable extent for the prevention of serious prejudice to a defendant and also for the prevention of witness, jury member and victim from serious harm and improper pressure.

Media publication recognized as prejudicial to an accused

It is necessary to consider that which category of publication may be recognized as prejudicial to suspect or accused:

(1) Publications regarding merits of the case: The publications which comment upon the merits of the case may be consider as prejudicial to suspect or accused, if such publication prejudge the fact and influenced the Court, witnesses and others. It is permissible to publish the fact of arrest and extract nature of charge but if media tries to perform function of judiciary without the safeguards of procedure and do assertion of guilty or innocence of suspect or accused then it will be treated as serious contempt.

(2) Publication regarding the character of accused or previous conviction: The publication concerning about character of accused, which is having tendency to excite the feeling of hostility against the accused amount to contempt because such publication can have influence upon judges, which may induce court to be biased. In R v. O’Dogherty[25], Pigot CB stated that observation calculated to excite feeling of hostility toward any individual who is under a charge amount to a contempt of court.

The publication of previous conviction is recognized as serious contempt because it has a tendency to prejudice the mind of the judges. In AG (NSW) v. Willisee[26], Moffit P stated that there is Popular and deeply rooted belief that it is more likely that an accused person committed the crime charged if he has a criminal record, and less likely if he has no record. The need to prevent prejudice caused by past criminal record is one of the most deeply rooted and zealously guarded principles of the criminal law[27].

(3) Publication regarding Confession to police:

Although confession made to police is not admissible in Court of law but still such publications of confessions before criminal proceeding are treated as serious contempt because it prejudice and affect court’s impartiality. In New South Wales, during the police media conference following the arrest of a suspect in a murder inquiry, police officer answered a question of a journalist which suggested that the accused confessed to the police and hence he was held to be in contempt[28].

(4) Publication regarding witnesses: Any publication regarding witnesses which make them an object of public criticism then it amount to serious contempt, as a result witnesses may not appear before court. There is need to impose reasonable restrict upon this kind of publication because discrediting witnesses is also prejudicial to a trial.

(5) Premature publication of evidence: If media conduct private investigation and do publication in which he assert guilty or innocent of accused before or during the trial then it amount to serious contempt because it can prejudice the court, witnesses and the public. There is no guarantee that the facts published by media are true because no opportunity given to cross examine the facts.

CONCLUSION

In democracy freedom of press has been provided to media for welfare of public and thereof media have an obligation to respect individual rights like right to fair trial but by conducting private investigation about suspect or accused before trial it prejudice to a fair trial, here media tries to declare accused as guilty or innocent before trial which can prejudice the mind of the judges, so here there is a undue interference with administration of justice by media. There is need to put reasonable restriction upon media by law for protecting rights of suspect or accused and for that we have to strike balance between freedom of speech and expression on one hand and due process right of accused on another hand, as part of administration of justice.

It is pertinent to modify Explanation  below section 3 of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, and thereafter the starting point of the pendency of criminal proceeding will began from date of arrest which will protect suspect or accused right of fair trial from prejudicial publication. This modification will not unreasonably restrict freedom of press but it will strike balance between freedom of press and rights of suspect or accused.

The freedom of press is not absolute right and therefore media person should have knowledge about certain aspect of law like media person should know about the rights available to them under Art. 19(1) (a) as well as they should know about rights of suspect or accused. Media person should know what category of publication is prohibited by law and it should not publish prohibited category of publication. Media person should know certain aspects like constitutional law, human rights, law relating to defamation and Contempt of Court; this will help in striking balance between freedom of press and rights of the accused.

There is need to give power to court to pass postponement order as to publication. It is accepted view in different jurisdiction across the world that temporary postponement order can be pass by court like according to UK Act of 1981, the court can issue postponement order under serious risk of prejudice on the basis of special  proof and any breach of postponement will be contempt.

At last I would like to conclude that media is a fourth pillar of democracy and therefore media person has to perform its duty honestly. It is important for media to give more importance to public interest rather then giving more important to commercial interest

[1] Justice A.N.Grover, Press and the Law, 1990, pg. 7 Para 2

[2] Brij Bhushan v State of Delhi, AIR 1950 SC 129

[3] Romesh Thappar v State of Madras, AIR 1950 SC 124

[4] 1960 (2) SCR 671

[5] Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting v. Cricket Association of West Bengal : 1995(2) SCC 161

[6] Indian express (Bombay) v. UOI 1985 (1) SCC 641

[7] M. Nagaraj v. UOI, (2006) 8 SCC 212.

[8] Article 19 (2), “Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause (i) shall effect the operation of any existing law or prevent the state from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the rights

conferred by the said sub clause in the interest of the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states,

public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence”

[9]  (2004) 4 SCC 158

[10] (2009) 6 SCC 260

[11] (1997) 8 SCC 386

[12] Law commission, Trial by Media (Law Com No 200, 2006) page no. 11-12, Para 12

[13] [1981] AC 303 (HL)

[14] Reliance Petrochemicals Ltd. vs. Proprietors of Indian Express,1988(4) SCC 592

[15] Anukul Chandra Pradhan vs. Union of India, 1996(6) SCC 354

[16] AIR 2005 Delhi 195

[17] Sakal Papers(P) Ltd v Union of India, AIR 1962 SC 305

[18] AIR 1951 SC 21

[19] Lowell v Griffin, (1939) 303 US 444

[20] AIR 1961 SC 633

[21]AIR 1963 MP 61

[22]AIR 1969(2) SCC 734

[23] AIR 1978 SC 597

[24] Art.10. UDHR, 1948

[25] (1848) 5 Cox C.C 348 (354)

[26] (1980) (2) NSWLR 143 (150)

[27] Gisborne Herald Co. Ltd. vs. Solicitor General, 1995(3) NLLR 563 (569) (CA) 196

[28] AG (NSW) v. Dean (1990) 20 NSWLR 650

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