Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes: SC to monitor CBI inquiry, vacates Patna High Court order banning media reporting

The Supreme Court on Thursday vacated the Patna High Court's 23 August order banning the media from reporting on the Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes case and decided to monitor the investigation.

The bench asserted that there cannot be a blanket ban on the media in covering the case, but the press needs to be cautious and diligent in its reporting, according to Bar and Bench. The court directed that the media cannot telecast or publish images of victims of sexual offences even in morphed or blurred forms. It also asked both electronic and print media not to sensationalise incidents of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

The Supreme Court perused the existing status reports of the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is looking into the Muzaffarpur case, and observed that the inquiry appears to be progressing in the right direction. Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta have sought another status report from the CBI within four weeks, reported CNN-News18.

File image of the Supreme Court. AP

File image of the Supreme Court. AP

On Wednesday, while hearing the plea against the high court-imposed ban, the Suprme Court had observed that no action had been taken against the media for flouting laws and disclosing details about a 19-year-old girl who was gangraped in Rewari in Haryana, which could help identify the victim.

The plea challenging the Patna High Court order restraining the media was filed by a Patna-based journalist through advocate Fauzia Shakil. The petition, which sought a stay on the high court's direction, claimed that the order was "patently erroneous" as it amounted to imposing a "blanket ban" on the media reporting on the shelter home case.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Sep 20, 2018 16:09:39 IST

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