Freedom of speech v/s free trial

  • September 10, 2017
  • 11:00 pm
  • LexHitanshi
               Robert Kennedy

The basic freedom, according to most of the thinkers,is Freedom of Speech. With the freedom of speech comes along right to express one’s view, share one’s opinion and perspective.

This also helps to maintain healthy democracy as said by Robert Kennedy
Hand in hand with the freedom of speech goes the power to be heard, to share in the decisions og government which shape men’s life“.

Democracy is of the people ,by the people and for the people and to preserve it freedom of speech is utmost necessary. Article 19 embodies this basic freedom “Freedom of Speech”.

Under this article constitution provides freedom of speech which is right to express one’s  opinion freely without any fear through oral/written /electronic /broadcasting /press. This freedom of press also add up to publications and consequently including freedom of media in category.

Another right comes to light when we talk about freedom i.e right to fair trial. It is important role of any government to maintain law and order on behalf of whole society; to account and hold people for crime and ensure justice. And right is a key to it.

Right to fair trial means that people can be sure that the justice gaining process will be fair and certain. It act as a barrier for government from showing off their power or abusing it .

Freedom of media has been a petulant issue when it comes to fair trial. In a bid to restore balance between free speech and fair trial, the law commission has come up with “trial by media” This article was originally confined to the objectionable parallel trial by the media, of a case which may be the imminent or current subject matter of a trial before a Court of justice.

Although the above objective has, by and large, been adhered to, certain supervening incidents persuaded the author to marginally digress from the bad effects which a trial by the media can cause to the administration of justice…

In Saibal Kumar Gupta and Ors. v. B.K. Sen and Anr. It was held by the Supreme Court that:
“No doubt it would be mischievous for a newspaper to systematically conduct an independent investigation into a crime for which a man has been arrested and to publish the results of that investigation. This is because trial by newspapers, when a trial by one of the regular tribunals of the country is going on, must be prevented.

The basis for this view is that such action on the part of a newspaper tends to interfere with the course of justice whether the investigation tends to prejudice the accused or the prosecution. There is no comparison between a trial by a newspaper and what has happened in this case.”

Media plays a vital role in shaping the democracy. It can be seen either as a powerful weapon or as a destroyer, so with the freedom come certain limitations…And with the freedom of speech comes some reasonable inhibitions so that ones freedom cannot trouble another .