Trial by Media: Its implications on Fair Trial and Administration of Justice
Research Scholar at S.O.S in Law, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, India.
Volume III – Issue II, 2021
A free and fair media is indispensible for the successful and smooth functioning of a democracy like India and is regarded as the fourth estate. The freedom of press stems from the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. But this freedom is not absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) which includes contempt of court. The problem erupts where media interferes with the administration of justice by conducting the trial of the accused in its so called “Jan Adalat” and delivers the verdict even before trial begins or the verdict is delivered by the court. This trend is known as media trial. The focus of this research is to study the consequences and problem where the media encroaches upon the functions of the judiciary and the necessity of stringent laws to prevent this unhealthy trend of media trial even by suggesting an amendment to the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 by giving an extended meaning to the word “pending” in Section 3 of the Act to prevent unwarranted media excess from the time the arrest of the accused is made and this protection should continue throughout the stage of investigation, trial to the time until the final verdict is delivered by the court.
Keywords: Media, Trial, Constitution, Right, Judiciary, Jan-Adalat, Contempt of court, Subjudice.