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Madras HC Condemned Media Coverage of 2019 Pollachi Gang Rape, Says it Has no Concern for Victim or her Family

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Prerna Gala

Published on: 04 September 2022 at 19:24 IST

The Tamil magazineNakkheeran,” in particular, and other print and electronic media outlets’ coverage of the 2019 Pollachi gang rape event have drawn the disapproval of the Madras High Court.

A single-judge Justice M. Dhandapani ruled on Friday that the media is just driven by ratings and financial concerns and has no regard for the survivor or her.

The Court was considering a petition that was filed last year asking for sanctions against Nakkheeran magazine for violating legal requirements and prior Supreme Court directives regarding reporting on cases of rape and sexual assault.

However, the print and electronic media were trusted by this court to act responsibly, keep its duty to the public in mind, and comprehend the distress that the victims and their loved ones would have experienced.

Still unashamedly on its website, the magazine had posted a hazy video of the whole gangrape assault. The survivor’s identify and specifics of her court testimony were also made public by the magazine.

Observing thus, in the instant plea the court has said that it has been made clear to the court that its feelings are nothing more than hallucinations. Further ordering that no information regarding the survivor, her deposition, or anything else that might be used as evidence in the case’s trial be released to any media sources.

The High Court stated that “basically, the print and electronic media are restricted from publishing any oral or documentary evidence related to the hearing of the case.”

The Court issued a warning that it would take “serious action” against the media in the event that they broke any rules. In order to prevent violations of the rules for reporting on rape and sexual assault cases, it further ordered the High Court registrar and the Press Council of India to inform all media outlets of the current decision.