Anil Thakraney: Media needs access to rape trial

23 Jan,2013

By Anil Thakraney

 

With due respect to the honourable magistrate who ordered in-camera trial of the Delhi gang rape and murder case, and to the judiciary in general, I have to say one is quite disappointed with the decision to keep the media out of the courtroom. Am sure the concerned magistrate had valid reasons for taking this decision, but the junta does have the right to be informed on the legal proceedings in this horrific case. Here we are, demanding transparency in all walks of life, and in the case of a crime that jolted the entire nation, there is a media blackout! It does appear rather odd.

 

I suppose the in-camera trial decision was taken because of the likely overcrowding inside the court premises, and a possible ‘law and order’ problem. Well, it’s the job of the cops on duty to handle these issues. Sure, the Delhi cops can’t seem to be able to do much to help women in distress, but surely they can ensure discipline inside a courtroom. And in this case, there’s no question of ‘protecting’ the rape victim from prying eyes, as, sadly, the unfortunate girl has passed away. So these explanations don’t convince me much.

 

Truth is, the public has every right to know the details of the arguments being put out by the prosecution and the defence lawyers, as also testimonies being filed by the various witnesses. We also need to be made aware of the remarks and observations by the judge. Not only because this trial means a lot to a whole lot of people, this case involves more than the tragedy of one individual. The incident deals with the systematic failure of the state, the police and the aam aadmi at large… all the more reason the media needs to have access to the daily proceedings. Media scrutiny will also ensure the case doesn’t slow down, as it usually happens in India.

 

If there is a concern that news channel anchors will conduct their own ‘trial’ each evening based on the media reports (and this is quite possible), the magistrate can easily declare a ban on such frivolous discussions. But factual reports from inside the courtroom are important.

 

Anyway, as I said earlier, this is simply my own point of view, and there’s no disrespect meant to the judiciary. Whatever happens, let’s just hope justice is awarded to the victim’s family as soon as possible.

 

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PS: Haha. Fun, sarcastic posters on movies nominated for the Oscar awards this year. Really wish someone did a similar exercise on the ‘100 Crore Club’ drivel that’s been winning awards at multiple Bollywood fests.

 

Link: http://www.theshiznit.co.uk/feature/if-2013s-oscar-nominated-movie-posters-told-the-truth.php

 

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