While discussing the Nirbhaya gang rape case and the role of the accused juvenile; discussing the role of media trial in the present day becomes extremely relevant.
‘Media trial’ or ‘trial by media’ is a phrase popular in the late 20th and early 21st century to describe the impact of television and newspaper coverage on a person's reputation by creating a widespread perception of guilt or innocence before, or after, a verdict in a court of law.
Media is regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy. It plays a vital role in moulding the opinion of the society and is capable of changing the whole viewpoint through which people perceive various events. The people have a right …show more content…
It is sensationalism on part of the media which led to negative portrayal of the juvenile in the eyes of the general public. Similar was the case in Jessica Lal, Arushi Talwar murder case, Priyadarshini Mattoo case and several other high profile cases. It is also put forth that the disclosure of information by the police, including the juvenile’s name, village, family etc. and its publication in media is an outright violation of Section 21 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 which attracts a fine of 25,000 rupees. Such unsubstantiated news coverage serves no purpose except that of shutting down the possibility of rehabilitation and mainstreaming of this juvenile along with causing unprecedented vilification of the juvenile. Thus, arose the need to curb the freedom given to the media.
Effect of media trial: Trial by media even before the actual trial by a court of law, leads to the public forming preconceived notions about the guilt or innocence of the plaintiff/accused and further leads to an unwanted hype regarding a social issue. The same subconsciously affects judges who may get swayed by emotions and mob mentality of the people. Media trial puts pressure on the judges to give their verdict in favour of either the plaintiff/accused; whomsoever has the sympathy of the crowd. Thus, media trial hampers the accused’s right to fair trial and hinders in the administration of