[dropcap]A[/dropcap]FTER having barred several media organisations from entering inside the courtroom, a Delhi court has directed PTI, ANI and some national dailies, which have been allowed to cover Unnao rape hearing, to share their reports with other journalists.
“The reporters from UNI, PTI besides other national dailies shall share their stories with the representatives of other newspapers and members of the electronic media,” District Judge Dharmesh Sharma stated in a recent court order during Unnao rape case hearing.
The court directed media to “refrain from reporting the testimony of any witness, wholly or partly, and refrain from appreciating such evidence or giving any opinion on the merits of the case”.
Significantly, the court reiterated the press from sharing details about the Unnao rape survivor, her family, and witnesses in the case.
On July 28, the Unnao survivor—who had accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of sexual assault—was critically injured along with her lawyer, after the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by a truck in Rae Bareli.
Two of the survivor’s aunts who were travelling with her in the car were killed in the incident.
The court, according to media reports, framed charges under relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against the MLA.
After the incident, the accused MLA, his younger brother and eight others, were booked on charges of attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy. The police also invoked criminal intimidation charges on allegations that the accused were threatening and harassing the rape survivor’s family. The case is being investigated by CBI.