Media must excercise restraint while reporting court cases.

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (UNI) Senior journalist and Legal Editor of The Hindustan Times Satya Prakash has cautioned the Media to take utmost care to protect the Fundamental Rights of an accused while reporting court cases.

An accused is innocent till proven guilty by the courts and to make all sorts of judgements and allegations against a person who is facing trial can attract contempt proceedinngs against the reporter.

The freedom of speech, which has been guranteed by the Constitution under Article 19(A), is a freedom granted to every individual to have a right to free speech which is not absolute. There are certain sanctions imposed on this freedom, therefore, making any statement against a person who is charged of a certaain offence, will curtail his freedom which can be derrogatory and violative of the accused's fundamental rights, if he is proven innocent in the court, said Mr Prakash yesterday.

Mr Prakash, who was speaking during a talk organised by the India Media Centre, said ''the growing trend by the media particularly, the electronic media is to like an activist while we must not forget that our work is that of a Watch dog and not of an activist.'' ''While repoting about the Judiciary, we must take utmost care not to harm the basic institution. It is but the Judiciary which is protector of our Human Rights, Fundamental Rights and trying to root out corruption in the society,'' he noted.

''If the basic structure of the Judiciary is harmed, a situation like Pakistan may arise here which is not called for in a Democracy like ours,'' he said.

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