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[2019 Pollachi gang rape case] Media guided by ratings; has no concern for survivor, family: Madras High Court

In an order passed on Friday, single-judge Justice M Dhandapani said that media is guided by ratings and monetary considerations alone and does not have any concern for the survivor or her family members.

The Court proceeded to restrain all media outlets from divulging any details of the survivor, her deposition, or anything else that might qualify as evidence during the trial in the case.

“In essence, the print and electronic media are restrained from publishing any oral or documentary material connected with the trial of the case,” the High Court said.

The Court warned that any infraction by the media will result in the Court taking “severe action” against them.

The Court was hearing a petition filed last year seeking action against Nakkheeran magazine for having breached statutory guidelines and previous orders of the Supreme Court on covering cases of sexual assault and rape.

The plea highlighted that following the Pollachi incident, the magazine had uploaded a blurred video of the entire gangrape incident on its website. The magazine had also made public, the identity of the survivor and details of her deposition made before a court.

“This Court had reposed faith on the print and electronic media to conduct itself mindful of its duty to the citizens and understand the turmoil which the victims and their family members would have gone through…This court has however, been made to understand that its impressions are mere hallucinations,” the order said.

The Court, therefore, directed that Nakkheeran Publications, represented by its Editor, Nakkheeran Gopal, be impleaded as respondent parties in the above plea.

It also directed the High Court registrar and the Press Council of India to inform all media outlets of the present order to ensure that the guidelines on covering instances of rape and sexual assault are not breached.

Source: Barandbench

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