SC orders MHA to give detailed guidelines for police when briefing media on criminal cases

Observing that biased reporting gives rise to public suspicion that the person has committed an offence, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said media reports can also violate the privacy of a victim.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs to write a detailed guide for police officials who brief the media on criminal cases.

A bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud noted that inaccurate reporting leads to the public believing that a person has committed a crime and that media coverage can also breach a victim’s right to privacy.

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The top court further ordered all state DGPs to make recommendations to MHA within a month on the creation of a manual for police press conferences in criminal cases.

“All DGPs should submit their recommendations for rules to the Ministry of Home Affairs once each month…Suggestions from the NHRC may also be used, the bench said.

The top court was listening to a petition addressing the procedures police use to hold media briefings when an investigation is ongoing.

The MHA, or Ministry of Home Affairs, is a crucial government department in many countries, including India. Its primary responsibility is to ensure the internal security, law and order, and overall governance within the country. In India, the MHA oversees various agencies like the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), Intelligence Bureau (IB), and others to maintain national security and manage domestic affairs. The MHA plays a pivotal role in disaster management, immigration and visa policies, as well as handling matters related to state governments and union territories. It also deals with issues related to citizenship, border management, and the administration of the Indian Police Service (IPS) officers.

Overall, the Ministry of Home Affairs is essential for maintaining peace, security, and effective governance within a country, making it a critical part of the government’s infrastructure.