Supreme Court Directs MHA to Develop Guidelines on Police Briefings to Prevent Media Trials; Seeks Input from DGPs


The Supreme Court has taken a significant step towards curbing the phenomenon of media trials by directing the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to formulate a comprehensive manual outlining guidelines for media briefings conducted by police personnel. The Court’s decision came during a hearing presided over by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice Manoj Misra. The directive tasks the MHA with the responsibility of drafting this crucial document within a three-month period.

In addition to this, the Court has also sought the active participation of the Director Generals of Police (DGPs) from all states, requesting them to submit their suggestions for the formulation of the manual. This collaborative approach reflects the Court’s commitment to ensuring that media briefings conducted by law enforcement agencies do not inadvertently lead to media trials that may compromise the fairness and integrity of legal proceedings.

By initiating this process, the Supreme Court aims to strike a balance between the freedom of the press and the right to a fair trial, recognizing the importance of responsible reporting and the need to avoid prejudicial information dissemination. The development of clear guidelines for police briefings is expected to contribute significantly to a more transparent and accountable criminal justice system, ultimately upholding the principles of justice and due process.

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