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  • Sakshar Law Associates

Media selective leak and violation of human rights

Updated: Sep 3, 2022


Sakshi Shairwal

Ayushi Pandey


The media play a quite vital feature in the safety of human rights. They monitor human rights violations and offer an area for unique voices to be heard in public discourse. Not without reason, the media had been called the Fourth Estate – and vital addition to the powers of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. However, the power of the media also can be misused to the extent that the very functioning of democracy is threatened. Some media stores have been turned into propaganda megaphones for those in power. Others have been used to incite xenophobic hatred and violence in the direction of minorities and extraordinary susceptible groups.

The reason of journalism is not to please those who preserve power or to function the mouthpiece of governments. Journalists report, check out and analyse, they tell us about politics, religion, celebrities, the arts, sports, revolutions and wars. They entertain and once in a while annoy us. But most vital of all, they are “public watchdogs”. This role is vital for democracy. Free, independent and pluralistic media based mostly on freedom of information and expressions are a middle element of any functioning democracy.

Today journalism is in the midst of crisis, new kinds of verbal exchange and online services provide sparkling challenges. So-referred to as “citizen journalism” and the growth of “networked journalism” legitimise the use of amateurs in a weakened media industry and additionally pose new questions about the reliability and integrity of the information they provide. Perhaps one of the most difficult duties for journalists and human rights attorneys is to balance the competing rights of privacy and freedom of expression. Privacy and media freedom facilitate the leisure of various rights which incorporates free expression, the right to act in step with judgment of proper and incorrect and freedom of association.

Article 8 of the ECHR determines that every person has a right to appreciate for private and family life and it is been called upon in many lots of court cases, defensive unfairly sacked employees, adulterers and sufferers of sexual harassment. However, in a few countries, frequently where democratic traditions are weak, invasions of privacy mechanically intersect with violations of different essential rights and freedoms inclusive of media freedom.


The right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to privacy are aspects of the equal coin. One person’s right to know and be informed may violate another’s right to be left alone. Simply as the freedom of speech and expression is important for the dissemination of information on subjects of public interest, it is similarly vital to protect the personal life of an individual to the extent that it is unrelated to public obligations or matters of public interest. The regulation of privacy endeavours to balance those competing freedoms. The exponential increase of the media, especially digital media in current years, has delivered into attention difficulty of privacy. The media has made it feasible to deliver the personal life of an individual into public domain, exposing him to the chance of an invasion of his area and his privacy.


“Selective disclosures to media in criminal trial affect rights of accused, victims: SC”

Substantial judgement (Dr Naresh Kumar Mangla v. Smt. Anita Agarwal & Ors) The Supreme Court has determined that selective disclosures to the media throughout investigation of crime have an effect on the rights of the a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court – comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee – set apart the order of the single judge of the Allahabad high court granting anticipatory bail to the accused in a dowry loss of life case, and directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Unfortunately, this function is being compromised with the aid of using the way in which selective leaks take place in the public realm, it stated. "This isn't always honest to the accused as it pulls the rug beneath the presumption of innocence. It is not honest to the victims of crime, if they have survived the crime, and where they have not, to their families. Neither the sufferers nor their families have a platform to answer the publication of lurid details about their lives and circumstances," the bench said whilst handing over to the CBI the investigation of the case.

The apex court turned into listening to an attraction in opposition to an order of Allahabad High Court granting anticipatory bail to parents-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law of a woman who died with the aid of using suicide. The father of a woman had moved the top court in opposition to the bail granted to the accused in a dowry harassment case. According to the FIR registered at Police Station Tajganj in Agra, on August 7, 2020, the father lodged a criticism alleging that he spent an amount in excess of Rs.1.50 crore for conducting the marriage of his daughter Deepti, who turned into a doctor. It is said that even thereafter, Sumit, his parents, brother-in-law and sister-in-law misbehaved with the deceased due to dowry.

The apex court said selective divulging of information, together with the disclosure of material which might also additionally ultimately shape an essential part of the evidentiary file at the criminal trial, may be used to derail the management of criminal justice. "Selective disclosures to the media have an impact at the rights of the accused in some times and the rights of patient’s families in others. ... selective divulging of information, together with the disclosure of material which might also moreover in the long run form an essential part of the evidentiary report at the criminal trial, can be used to derail the control of criminal justice," the top court said

The deceased, it is alleged, was pressurized to bring money and later died by suicide. Within a couple of days of the death of Deepti, the alleged suicide word determined its manner into the newspapers in Agra. The top court stated the husband of the deceased have a distinguished social popularity in Agra and that they will have used their function in society to thwart a right research cannot be appeared to be It stated the popularity of the accused as propertied and wealthy individuals of influence in Agra and the behaviour of the research diminishes this Court's faith in directing a in addition research by the equal.

In the backdrop of what has been said above and the extreme deficiencies in the research...we're of the view that it's miles essential to entrust a similarly investigation of the case to the CBI in exercising of the powers of this Court under Article 142 of the "The behaviour of the investigating authorities from the level of arriving on the scene of incidence to the submitting of the charge-sheet do now no longer encourage self-belief in the robustness of the process," the bench The apex court additionally set apart the order exceeded via way of means of the Single Judge of the High Court permitting the applications for anticipatory bail by the accused.

“The series in this example seems to observe acquainted patterns. Immediate exposures become given to the alleged suicide note. These examples are actually turning into familiar. Selective disclosures to the media affect the rights of the accused in a few instances and the rights of victims’ families in others. “The bench discovered this “selective leak” to be a stressful trend and determined it right to transfer the investigation of the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


The right to privacy in India has did not gather the fame of an absolute right. The right in evaluation to different competing rights, like, the right to freedom of speech & expression, the right of the State to impose regulations as a result of safety and protection of the State, and the right to information, is The Indian media violates privacy in day-to-day reporting, like overlooking the issue of privacy to satisfy morbid curiosity. In India, the right to privacy isn't always an advantageous right. It comes into effect only in the occasion of a violation. The regulation on privacy in India has often developed via judicial intervention. It has did not hold pace with the technological development and the burgeoning of the 24/7 media news channels. The generic right to privacy is effortlessly compromised for different competing rights of ‘public good’, ‘public interest’ and ‘State security’, a lot of what constitutes public interest or what's personal is left to the discretion of the media.



ii.) Facets of media law authored by Madhavi Goradia Divan


iv.) Dr Naresh Kumar Mangla v. Smt. Anita Agarwal & Ors (Criminal Appeal Nos.872-873of 2020Arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos.4935-4936 of 2020)


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