The Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected the bail petition of a journalist accused of abetting a man’s suicide and filming it in 2020, Bar and Bench reported.
Shameem Ahmed and another person had allegedly instigated Surendra Chakraborty to set himself on fire outside the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Bhawan so they could film the incident and telecast it.
Chakraborty was distressed after his landlord asked him to leave his rented accommodation, according to Bar and Bench. The accused reportedly suggested that if he set himself on fire outside the Assembly building, the media would highlight the incident and he won’t have to leave the house.
While rejecting Ahmed’s bail plea, Justice Vikas Kunvar Srivastav noted: “A journalist is not expected to dramatise a sensational and horrifying incident and make news by putting his actor in pitiable condition in danger of death.”
The judge added that a journalist’s responsibility was to track events and report them without any tampering.
The High Court said statements and details related to the case established prima facie that Ahmed had persuaded the man to kill himself, according to PTI.
The court noted that the wife of the man would be in danger if it granted bail to the accused, according to Bar and Bench. “She is the main witness in the case,” the court said. “For fair trial, the complainant would need a completely fear-free environment as a witness. She has the right to have a fair trial of the matter.”
The High Court observed that the journalist had several other criminal cases pending against him and he could take undue advantage of his bail.