Why Air Shraddha Walkar Murder Case Alone and Not Others, Delhi HC Asks News Channel

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NEW DELHI – The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked news channel Aaj Tak/TV Today Network why it wants to air content like narco-analysis test and charge sheet related to Shraddha Walkar murder case alone.

Aaftab Amin Poonawala is accused of strangling his live-in partner Walkar and then chopping her body into several pieces for disposal.

Delhi’s Saket court had earlier this month framed charges against Poonawala under Sections 302 (Murder) and 201 (Disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.

The court was hearing TV Today’s application seeking vacation of an earlier order dated April 19, wherein the court had restrained several media channels from airing Poonawala’s psychological assessment, voice layered test, narco analysis and charge sheet content.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar questioned: “There are more heinous cases than this… There are 20 murders all over India daily. What is so special about this case? Was the Nirbhaya case played on TV channels? Why are you choosing this particular case?”

About the recent incident of gangster Atiq Ahmed’s murder, the bench raised a question whether it would telecast it the same way as Walkar’s.

“Will you display Atiq Ahmed’s murder also? Uska bhi jawab le ke aayiyega (Bring the answer to this query too),” the judge said and posted the matter for hearing next on August 3.

The bench also asked TV Today’s counsel whether videos related to the investigation can be played on TV during the pendency of the trial.

“You can’t take the charge sheet in a case and affix them on walls. Some line needs to drawn about how much these public documents (in a criminal trial) can be displayed on TV,” the court said.

As counsel for India Today argued that the injunction order effectively violates their fundamental right, the court said: “This is your fundamental right? To display the matter under sub-judice on TV? How many criminal cases pending before courts are being displayed on TV?”

Counsel said that the content they wanted to publish are public documents and that the only request for the court to set an early hearing date.

Counsel added that he will respond to all of the court’s inquiries and that the case had acquired a special status in the public’s eyes.

Justice Bhatnagar, however, said that such materials are there in every case but they are not shown on TV.

It added that no early date will be given in the application and it will be heard on the date already fixed in the main matter which is August 3.

The court has also issued notice on India Today’s application. -IANS

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