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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightJournalists have no...

Journalists have no legal protection on revealing sources: Court

Journalists have no legal protection on revealing sources: Court

New Delhi: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Rouse Avenue Court, Anjani Mahajan, ruled on Tuesday that journalists do not have the privilege of any legal protection on revealing their sources before investigation agencies, The News Minute reported.

The court made the observation when it was dealing with a closure report by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a case of alleged amassment of disproportionate assets of the late Samajwadi Party leader and former UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and his family members.

It was in March 2007, the Supreme Court directed the CBI to probe the assets and wealth of Yadav and his kin. This was after a writ petition was filed against them in 2005.

On 29 February 2009, a day before the hearing, the Times of India published that CBI might admit that Mulayam was framed. The same information was carried out by several other news portals, such as Star News and CNN-IBN. Following that, CBI filed a complaint alleging that unknown people hatched a criminal conspiracy and committed forgery, intending to harm the reputation of CBI.

According to CBI’s final closure report, there was no information on who forged the documents since the news portals did not divulge the source, and thus, there were nos sufficient evidence to prove the conspiracy.

To this, the Delhi Court said that just because the news portals do not reveal the sources, the agency must not stop its investigation. It said that no statutory exemption is provided to journalists in India from disclosing their sources to investigating agencies, particularly when the disclosure is required to aid an investigation of a criminal case. The CBI must direct the said news portals to provide the detail of the sources under section 91 of CrPC.

The court said that more investigations on journalists and their sources for the alleged fabricated papers that were obtained must be carried out.

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TAGS:journalistsDelhi courtlegal protectionsources
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