'Exercise restraint': Bombay HC censures media outlets over reportage on Sushant Singh Rajput's death

In the wake of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's demise, social media had been abuzz with claims that the actor had been murdered or driven to commit suicide. While initial investigations had been conducted by the Mumbai and Bihar Police, the case is now under the CBI, with the Enforcement Directorate looking into a possible money laundering angle while the narcotics bureau looks into the possibility of a drugs angle.

But while officials have not said much about the ongoing investigations, media organisations have taken it upon themselves to pick up the slack. And from the initial days -- when the media was using terms such as "hit wicket" and "Patna fail" to describe Sushant's death -- things have not improved much.

Weighing in on the situation on Thursday, the Bombay High Court has issued notices to the CBI and media channels.

"We expect the media outlets to exercise restraint while reporting any information pertaining to the Sushant Singh Rajput case. Do not report anything that could hamper the investigations in the case," the High Court said.

The CBI and other channels have been ordered to file their say in the matter by next week.

Over the last few weeks, many media channels have run hashtags urging the arrest of Rhea Chakraborty, even as others opted to interview her.

Journalistic ethics have also been ignored at times, as reporters, amongst other things, hounded an individual delivering food to the actor's house or use a camera and zoom in on the interior of her house and then report live about what she was watching on TV.

Interestingly, both Sushant's family lawyer Vikas Singh and Rhea Chakraborty have spoken out about the excessive media coverage. Singh believes that "people in conflict with law should be barred from media publicity", and while Rhea has given interviews to share her side of the story, she has approached the police seeking to bar the media from entering her complex.

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Free Press Journal