Giving a statement on a plea from former JNU student, Umar Khalid, regarding media trial, a Delhi court on Friday, January 22, said that confessional statement given to police is not admissible in court and it is the media's duty to inform and educate its reader or viewers of all relevant facts related to a case.
In his plea, Umar Khalid stated that many media reports are talking about his involvement in the Delhi riots and a confession has been made of the same by him in front of the police. He also mentioned that a supplementary charge sheet filed by him was leaked even before the court had cognisance of it, reported Times of India.
Hearing the pleas, the court said that media had reported about Khalid's confession of his involvement in Delhi riots but none of the news reports had clarified that such a statement and even if made, it cannot be used by the prosecution as evidence.
Chief metropolitan, Dinesh Kumar said, "Despite all the communities felt the consequences of the violence, a news report portrayed the entire Delhi riots as anti-Hindu riots and termed accused Umar Khalid as 'radical Islamist' and termed him anti-Hindu."
"It might be shown to the public at large that accused Umar Khalid had in fact confessed/admitted his role in Delhi riots with the help of these media reports. However, it is the duty of the judicial system to decide a case on merits after trial," said the magistrate.
He also added, "Considering the fact that the accused did not make any specific prayer in the application, I hope self-regulatory techniques would be used by the reporters."
In the plea, Umar Khalid stressed that the alleged disclosure statement, which is a part of charge sheet clearly says the accused had refused to sign it.
"A reporter should have the basic knowledge of laws because readers and viewers don't have the information of laws and they believe what they see and read and it is the duty of the press to educate their viewers and readers about relevant facts and circumstances," said the court.