Journalist not expected to dramatize a horrifying or sensational incident and make news: Allahabad High Court

1st July,2021

Journalist not expected to dramatize a horrifying or sensational incident and make news: Allahabad High Court



The Allahabad High Court, in denying a journalist's bail application for inciting a man to commit suicide so that it may be filmed, stated that a journalist is not supposed to dramatise such a dramatic or horrible situation to make headlines (Shameem Ahmad v. State of Uttar Pradesh). After noting that there was adequate evidence to rule out the journalist's assertions that he was innocent in the case, Justice Vikas Kunvar Srivastav denied bail. Taking a poor view of the purported occurrences, the Court went on to make several important points about what journalists should do and what lines they should not cross. This is his business: the journalist keeps a watch on anticipated or unexpected occurrences in society and brings them to the attention of all people through various news channels without tampering. The Court stated that "a journalist is not expected to portray a dramatic and terrible situation in order to make news by placing his actor in a pitiful condition in danger of death."
The Court further stated that granting bail to the accused journalist would put the deceased man's widow, who is the complainant in the case, in jeopardy. If the accused is set free, the complainant, who is already troubled by her husband's financial situation and committed suicide while under the influence of the accused, will be in danger. She is the case's principal witness. As a witness, the complainant would need to be in a completely fear-free setting for a fair trial. The order declared, "She has the right to a fair trial in this matter." The Court further noted that the accused journalist had previously been charged in eleven criminal instances. According to the Court, these criminal details raise doubts about whether the accused would abuse his immunity and bail status. As a result, the Court dismissed journalist Shameem Ahmad's request for a jail sentence. Ahman was charged with charges under the Indian Penal Code's Sections 306 (suicide attempt), 511, 109, 506 (penalty for criminal intimidation), and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke disturbance of the peace). The wife of the deceased submitted the First Information Report (FIR).