Cops should not disclose details about investigation of cases, accused or victim to media till completion of probe: K’taka HC


Team Udayavani, Jun 15, 2021, 8:11 PM IST

Bengaluru: Police officers should not disclose any details regarding the investigation of cases, accused, or the victim to media till the conclusion of such investigation, ordered the High Court on Karnataka on Tuesday, June 15.

The Court directed the State government to frame guidelines/ directions in this regard within 4 weeks.

The order was passed on a plea seeking directions from the Court to frame statutory rules to prevent publication of indecent and obscene content as part of the news/any other programme in electronic and print media.

A Bench of Chief Justice of Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj while hearing the case said that disciplinary proceedings should be initiated against police officials for disclosing any details regarding the investigation of cases, accused, or the victim to media before the investigation concludes.

“We are of the view that a comprehensive set of directions are required to be issued to the police for ensuring that before completion of the investigation, they do not divulge the nature of investigation revealed during the investigation. The other direction will have to be that they do not indulge in disclosing the identity of the complianant and accused. No purpose will be served only by issuing directions. Disciplinary proceedings for violations will have to be undertaken,” the Court said.

“Your police officers will go to the media and say we have 100% evidence against the accused. There has to be a code of conduct laid down for the officers,” the Court remarked during the hearing.

The Court further questioned the State on the action it has taken against such police officers.

“We will take judicial notice of such instances,” the Court warned.

The counsel appearing for the State government submitted that investigating officers don’t even ‘talk’ to the media, to which the court replied “Directly or indirectly, information is being leaked.”

The Court further opined that leaking information regarding probe to the media also affect the trial proceedings.

The matter was adjourned to July 20 when the State is expected to come up with guidelines on how police should interact with media.

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