‘This is No Way To Treat Media Journalist, This is Lawlessness’, SC Upholds Bail to News 11 Bharat Journalist

Supreme Court Advocates LAW INSIDER

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: August 30, 2022 at 19:56 IST

The Jharkhand High Court‘s temporary ruling granting interim bail to News 11 Bharat Journalist Arup Chatterjee was upheld by the Supreme Court, which declined to intervene.

The probability that he was detained without adhering to the procedures under Section 41-A and the procedures pertaining to the production of the accused before the magistrate under Sections 80 and 81 CrPC really stood out to the High Court when granting bail.

A single-judge panel chaired by Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi had asked the State of Jharkhand to submit an affidavit outlining the acts of its officers in order to examine the issue of the arbitrary use of police authority to make arrests.

Following the states’ affidavit in this regard, it had also stated the plausibility of starting contempt proceedings for breaking the norms of arrest law established by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar vs. the State of Bihar and D.K. Basu vs. the State of West Bengal.

The high court had ruled that the petitioners had not been brought before any magistrate’s court in Ranchi after being arrested without following the procedure outlined in Sections 80 and 81 of the CrPC.

“The records show that the responsible officer, including the deputy commissioner, has requested that the information be subject to an investigation.”

“The question of whether an arrest by the police can be made arbitrarily, especially in the case of a journalist, will be decided when the other party has filed an affidavit.”

The high court refused to reject relief in the petition brought under Article 226 of the Constitution based only on the maintainability question, taking into account the seriousness of the situation.

In the case of Arnesh Kumar and D.K. Basu (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court went so far as to say that if the instructions are not followed by the police officials, a contempt proceeding may be brought against the offending officer(s) in the high court with territorial jurisdiction.

At first glance, it appears that this directive has not been followed.

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