Goa Police Should Not Parade the Accused Before the Print and Digital Media – High Court

According to one of the recent judgment of the high court even the accused person has right to the privacy and the right to live with dignity and hence the Parading of the accused before media takes away their rights to privacy and it also disregards to a human rights, stated High Court in its judgment. With the new order in place, there will be no more images of the acceded will be available for the media in the near future. Earlier people used to ask as to why police put masks on the face of the accused person now that situation may only not arise.     

Crimes take place all over the world and nothing beats catching criminals and delivering justice to the aggrieved party. Whenever criminals are caught be it a rape accused, murder accused, drug paddlers, thieves or even small-time goons, their pictures are flashed all over the media so as to inform people that there’s no escaping from the law for wrongdoers in society.

However, on Tuesday, The High Court of Bombay at Goa has directed the state government and director general of police to make sure that the police officials do not parade the accused persons before the print and electronic media or pose for photographs with accused persons. Their reasoning states that it shows complete disregard for human rights, right to privacy and right to live with dignity of accused persons.

The High Court had taken up suo motu cognizance of police personnel posing with a woman arrested for abandoning her newborn child.

The High Court division bench, comprising Justice M S Sonak and Justice Nutan D Sardessai, have observed, “We hold that the action of the respondent Nos 3 and 4, police personnel in parading the accused mother before the electronic and print media or in posing for photographs along with the accused mother before the print and electronic media, are acts, without authority of law and in fact in breach of office note dated January 16, 2015, office memorandum dated April 1, 2010, advisory dated February 26, 2019 and the decision taken on May 8, 2019.”

They further observed that this amounted to a violation of human rights, violation of right to privacy and the right to live with dignity of the accused mother. These rights have been granted to her under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. “Accordingly, the acts of the respondent Nos 3 and 4 are hereby deprecated.”

The High Court has also requested that the state government, as undertaken before this Court, should issue necessary guidelines in dealing with the interaction between the police officials and media.

The state government should make amendments as and when required during the course of such proceedings and that this exercise must be completed within a period of six weeks. The compliance report is to be filed by the Director-General of Police by January 6, 2020.

In this case of the mother abandoning her child, the High Court is concerned with regards to the following:

  1. The welfare of three minor children, including the welfare of newborn child, who was alleged to be abandoned by the parents;
  2. Virtual parading of the mother by the police officials before the print as well as the electronic media, in prima facie violation of the accused mother’s human rights, rights to privacy and dignity, as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”

If this is the decision of the High Court then the State Government is bound to follow such rules and regulations as may be deemed fit given the proceedings of the case.

Source: Navhind Times

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