Deccan Chronicle

The law says

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: April 5, 2022 | Updated on: April 5, 2022

Until a charge sheet is filed no conclusion of guilt can be drawn

Duvva Pavan Kumar. (By Arrangement)

Duvva Pavan Kumar. (By Arrangement)

When an investigation is underway, the right balance has to be struck between the actual truth versus the preliminary accusations. Until a charge sheet is filed no conclusion of guilt can be drawn. So, naming the people under investigation causes severe social prejudice.

Nothing prevents the police and the media from reporting an incident and naming the persons being investigated. However, I fail to understand the legal relevance of this practice," says Duvva Pavan Kumar, founder, The Law Chambers.

At best such naming can only shame the person and his family with no relevance to his or her role in the offence. It only results in a social trial even before the law can complete its own by due process," he adds.

"The Madras High Court in the Sukanya R. V. R. Sridhar case, had observed that the lakshman rekha or the ‘line of control’, should be that the publication of comments/information should not invade the privacy of an individual, unless out-
weighed by bona fide and genuine public interest.

Right to information is a facet of freedom of speech and expression, enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Right to information has been recognised as a fundamental right and the right of the Press to furnish the information or facts or opinion should be only in so far as to foster public
interest and not to encroach upon the privacy of an individual," adds Pavan Kumar.

"By leaking selective names and photos, the media is branding these people as convicts. The electronic media has a lot of visibility and repeatedly showing the customers as accused goes against the criminal jurisprudence that every person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty," says senior advocate A Venkatesh.

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