Family members of former Haryana's minister of state for home, Gopal Goyal Kanda, moved the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday alleging the electronic media of broadcasting "baseless news" with regard to Geetika Sharma suicide case just to "fling mud" on Kanda's reputation.
Taking up the petition filed by Kanda's wife Saras Goel, daughters Sushila Goel and Daya, and son Lekh Ram, the bench headed by justice Nawab Singh issued notice of motion to six news channels for filing their replies before October 12.The channels include: Zee News, Aaj Tak, ABP News, MH1 News, IBN Broadcast and Independent News Services.
The court was informed that information to the media may have been given by the political and social opponents. Media channels were making it a media trial which was tilting the investigation and true facts were being suppressed, the petitioners' mentioned.
Geetika Sharma (23), former airhostess of the now defunct Murali Dhar Lakhpat Rai (MDLR) airline, who later became director at the corporate office of MDLR group and chairperson of the educational trust being run by MDLR Group, was found hanging on August 5 at her house in North Delhi's Ashok Vihar. Following this an FIR was registered at Bharat Nagar police station in North West Delhi. Kanda who was absconding after the incident had later surrendered before the Delhi police and is now in judicial custody.
The petitioners submitted before the court that "media's act was clear cut violation of article 19(2) of the constitution which says that the right of publishing/broadcasting to the media was subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, state security, public order, decency, morality or in relation to defamation ir incitement to an offence."
The family members also alleged that the Delhi police and the media channels owing to high profile nature of the case has ignored the fact that it is a case of suicide where no instigation whatsoever has been alleged against Kanda.
"The actions of the channels resulted in creating a fear psychosis and feeling of terror in petitioners' mind…..these types of publishing/broadcasting appearing in the media would certainly interfere with the administration of justice."