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Pushkar case: HC questions Arnab for running a parallel probe, trial

Pushkar case: HC questions Arnab for running a parallel probe, trial
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Pushkar case: HC questions Arnab for running a parallel probe, trial

Highlights

On the channel's claim that they have evidence with them, the judge questioned them saying 'were you at the spot? Are you an eye witness? There is some sanctity attached to the investigation'

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Thursday questioned Arnab Goswami for running a parallel investigation and trial in the Congress leader Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar's death case and directed the journalist to be bound by his undertaking on showing restraint and bringing down the rhetoric while covering the matter.

Justice Mukta Gupta said the court was not saying that anyone will gag the media but at the same time, sanctity of investigation must be maintained.

"Please show restraint. Once the police investigation is going on in the criminal case, there cannot be a parallel investigation by the media," the judge said and remarked that people must take a course in criminal trial and then get into journalism.

The High Court referred to December 1, 2017 order in which it was stated that "press cannot 'convict anyone' or insinuate that he/she is guilty or make any other unsubstantiated claims. Press has to exercise care and caution while reporting about matters under investigation or pending trial."

It has been noted in the 2017 order that the counsel for the journalist and channel has assured the court that in future they would exercise restraint as well as bring down the 'rhetoric'.

On Thursday, the judge said, "Defendants (Goswami and his channel) are thus directed to be bound by the statement made on their behalf by their counsel till the next date of hearing."

On the channel's claim that they have evidence with them, the judge questioned them saying "were you at the spot? Are you an eye witness? There is some sanctity attached to the investigation."

To this, advocate Malvika Trivedi, representing Goswami, said there was evidence from AIIMS, based on which certain broadcast was aired.

The judge said it was for a court of law to decide what was evidence in a criminal trial and there are statements from here and there which are not evidence.

"Can the media sit in appeal against the chargesheet filed by an investigating agency?" the judge asked.

"It is not a reflection on the Plaintiff (Tharoor) but the investigating agency. Can there be a parallel investigation or trial?.. Would you not like the courts to take their own course?" the judge said.

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