Aarushi murder: CBI says media quoted bogus sources

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday sought the Supreme Court’s directions to the media to refrain from “sensational” reporting, claiming that the sources mentioned in reports on the Aarushi-Hemraj murder were not its officers who brief reporters.

The CBI favoured setting up of an independent body to monitor media reports particularly when there were round-the-clock news channels.

“It appears that the sources mentioned by the petitioner are not any of the CBI officers authorised to brief the press,” the CBI told an apex court bench of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice A.K. Patnaik.

The CBI follows “consistent and clear” media policy and all concerned including the media have been sensitised about using only the authorised channels for getting correct information, the agency said in its affidavit in the apex court.

The court adjourned the hearing after asking two newspapers to file their replies to the application filed by Aarushi Talwar’s father Rajesh Talwar. The matter will come up for hearing Sep 16.

Talwar in his application has slammed the media for slanderous reporting in Aarush-Hemraj murder case which was also in breach of apex court’s earlier order telling media to exercise caution.

Recalling its earlier affidavit, the CBI said that it had suggested setting up of an independent body like an association, society, board or authority that could enforce the norms, standards and a code of conduct for media.

The investigating agency said that if a news channel report had the potential of causing threat to life, liberty, peace or law and order then the independent authority should be empowered to take cognizance of the complaint from the designated authority including district superintendent of police and magistrate within 30 minutes.

The affidavit said that all the channels should be obligated to maintain a record of their telecast footage for at least six months.

The investigating agency said that the independent authority may be entrusted the task of evolving detailed norms and guidelines for dealing with the complaints in a time-bound manner.

This was necessary for protecting an individual’s privacy and the right to live with dignity, the CBI said.

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