On Thursday, the Delhi High Court questioned Arnab Goswami for running a parallel investigation and trial in the Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death case. The Court further directed the journalist to be bound by his undertaking on showing restraint and bringing down the rhetoric while covering the matter.
Justice Mukta Gupta said the court was not saying that anyone will gag the media but at the same time, sanctity of investigation must be maintained.
“Please show restraint. Once the police investigation is going on in the criminal case, there cannot be a parallel investigation by the media,” the judge said and remarked that people must take a course in criminal trial and then get into journalism.
There was a reference made to December 1, 2017 order in which it was stated that “Press cannot ‘convict anyone’ or insinuate that he/she is guilty or make any other unsubstantiated claims. Press has to exercise care and caution while reporting about matters under investigation or pending trial.” The order had noted that that the counsel for the journalist and channel has assured the court that in future they would exercise restraint as well as bring down the ‘rhetoric’.
Making this reference, the judge said, “Defendants (Goswami and his channel) are thus directed to be bound by the statement made on their behalf by their counsel till the next date of hearing.”
On the channel’s claim that they have evidence with them, the judge questioned them saying “were you at the spot? Are you an eye witness? There is some sanctity attached to the investigation.” To this, advocate Malvika Trivedi, representing Goswami, said there was evidence from AIIMS, based on which certain broadcast was aired.
The judge however shunned the plead saying that it was for a court of law to decide what was evidence in a criminal trial and there are statements from here and there which are not evidence, hereby giving certain strict instructions.