Journalist not expected to dramatise incident and make news: Allahabad High Court

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A journalist is not expected to dramatise a sensational and horrifying incident and make news by putting his subject in a pitiable condition and in danger of death, the Allahabad High Court has noted.

The court made the observation while rejecting the bail plea of a journalist in Lucknow, who is co-accused of abetting a person’s suicide and filming it outside the U.P. Vidhan Sabha last year.

“The journalist keeps an eye on anticipated or sudden events happening in society and brings them to the information of all the people through various news media without any tampering, this is his business,” the court said on June 21.

Journalists Shamim Ahmad and Naushad Ahmad allegedly contacted a man who was facing eviction from his house and induced him to set himself ablaze in front of the State Assembly so that they may film the incident and telecast it on television.

The journalists allegedly surmised that if the tenant of the house did as they suggested no one would be able to force him to evict from the house. The man allegedly poured oil and set himself on fire, while the accused scribes were filming it.

The person died in a hospital on October 24, 2020.

An FIR was lodged in the matter under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice Vikas Kunvar Srivastav said that from the details and statements recorded in the case, it was prima facie established that the accused Shamim Ahmad tempted the deceased that if he attempted to take his own life in front of the U.P. Assembly, the video-filmed act would prevent him from being evicted.

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