The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to state as to under what mechanism police officers are allowed to brief the media in cases being probed by them and expressed concern that even a low-rank official talks to the press immediately after the arrest of an accused.
A bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan asked the Additional Solicitor General PP Malhotra to take instruction from the Home Ministry on to what extant the police can brief the media.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Surat Singh seeking a series of directions to protect the reputation of the accused in a sub-judice matter. The petition was filed in the wake of media reporting in Aarushi murder case.
The petition alleged the media and the investigating agency had indulged in character assassination of the dead girl.
The petitioner said caution is required in reporting such cases as "it is not only the reputation of a person but a person is held guilty before the trial in the case takes place".