Don’t Cross Line, You’re Not a Prosecuting Agency: HC to Zee News

The Delhi High Court on Monday, 19 October, reminded Hindi news channel Zee News that it was not a ‘Prosecuting agency’ while chiding it for making public a purported disclosure statement allegedly made by Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, an accused in one of the cases linked to violence in northeast Delhi early this year, reported The Indian Express.

The court, which was hearing a petition filed by Tanha against his alleged ‘disclosure statement’ being made public, noted that although the alleged document had ‘little evidentiary value’ it was presented in such a manner that completely indicted the Tanha in the minds of the viewer.

Meanwhile, Arnab response to concerns of hate speech content on his show
Meanwhile, Arnab response to concerns of hate speech content on his show

Pulling up Zee News for publishing a purported ‘disclosure statement’ that was not supposed to be published in the first place and was not even in the possession of the accused, the court said that the channel had misrepresented facts at a different level.

The court also declined Zee News’ plea, which argued that forcing a journalist to reveal their sources would involve a question of privileges’ as news writers often obtain information from sources based on an understanding.

In a previous hearing last week, the High Court had asked Zee News to reveal the source from which it had received the documents, after the Delhi Police distanced itself from the leak, saying that none of its officers had revealed the purported ‘disclosure statement.’

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