Aarushi case: SC notices on petition seeking media restraint

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New Delhi, Aug 18 (UNI) The Supreme Court today issued notices to Union Home Ministry, the U P government, DGP Uttar Pradesh, NDTV, Aaj Tak and two leading English dailies (Hindustan Times and Times Of India) on a PIL seeking to lay down guidelines for the media so that the reputation of innocent persons in not maligned.

A bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and Markandey Katju also cautioned the media saying, '' Though the freedom of press is the hallmark of democracy but at the same time, media should be careful in reporting the events so that the reputation of innocent persons like Talwars in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case is not unnecessarily maligned.'' In the PIL, Surat Singh, an advocate prayed to the Court to lay down appropriate guidelines to regulate media as well as police in reporting events.

Citing the example of the conduct of media and police in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case, the petitioner also prayed to the Court to direct police officials not to share any information with the media and not to hold press conferences till the investigation was complete.

The apex court also issued notices to CNN IBN, Press Council of India and U P Press Council.

The apex court has given two weeks time to the respondents to respond to the allegations made in the petition. The respondents include IG Meerut range, SSP Noida.

The petition will come up for hearing on September 23.

The petitioner has also prayed to the Court to fix responsibilty on the police officials, who briefed the media declaring that Dr Rajesh Talwar was the killer of his 14-year-old daughter and even for spoiling the reputation of the young girl, who is no more.

Aarushi, a student of ninth class of DPS Noida was murdered on May 15 and the domestic help of the Talwars, Hemraj was also killed on the same night.

Investigation was transferred to the CBI, following the bungling done by the Noida police in the investigation of the sensational double murder case.

UNI SC LPB RP HS1715

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