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Media trial – A Fraud upon public & The Constitution In the death case of Sushant Singh Rajput

Media trial - A Fraud Upon The Public & The Constitution In The Death Case of Sushant Singh Rajput
:SHAIKA SIDDIQUE

The late actors suicide has spurred a nation wide debate on plethora of topics such as mental health, the outsiders in bollywood and many others. In a country like India, Media is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy and this signifies the immense responsibility and power that is inherent to the media. However the media has failed in its duty and has played a fraud upon the public in general and the Constitution in particular.

Media Trials Vitiated The Public Mind And Flouted The Constitutional Liberty

The media trial has definitely vitiated the minds of the public by portraying actress Rhea Chakraborty as the culprit even much before the actual inquiry commenced. Nevertheless the Indian Constitution guarantees certain essential rights for the media via the the right of press guaranteed under article 19(1)(a). These rights are for the protection of  the democracy against the arbitrariness of the state and making an informed nation at large.

In a democratic country like India the rights and duties of all its citizens are well defined. If the media has a right, it is undoubtedly not absolute and to the detriment of others. Showing anything about the deceased could never be a part of the media’s right. The deceased had a reputation and what the media is doing is feeding upon it.

“To err is human, to forgive is divine”, this is a widely imbibed notion in the various  law provisions. This is seemingly because even judges are people brought and conditioned in this very society and it is obvious that they too get affected as we do. They too form opinions on what they continuously see and hear.

This has great potential to affect the judgement to the detriment of the other party.

Right to Privacy – Is It Only A Living Men Privilege?

Every single incident no matter how private it may be, is a spiced up story for the media. Similarly the media has pushed several stories about the deceased’s character, his mental health, his personal expenses, his love life and several others in the public domain, without the validity and authencticity of any of those , which undoubtedly the media is not entitled to.

What the media should have done was to ignite the question as to how the various private information , such as his wataspp chat, his bank account details etc , of the deceased and other related issues got into the public domain but what the media is doing is an exact reverse of it.

The Apex Court in the case of Puttuswamy v. Union of India has clearly said that right to privacy is facet of article 21 and is implicit in it. When the Supreme Court has considered and upheld the right to privacy of every person, why has the personal aspects of the life of the deceased is being discussed. Is he devoid of the said right? Or being a public figure puts him in a position where anyone can say anything.

The Indian society and the stigma attached to mental health is not a latent fact despite this discussing the mental health of the late actor and the ultimate result, his suicide, as known to all will act as impediment for the sufferers of mental health and they will be hesitant to come forward to seek help.