Accused has fundamental rights; Media’s freedom of speech not greater than rights of an individual: Jammu & Kashmir Court

A Jammu & Kashmir court said that freedom of speech and expression accessible to the media is not on a higher pedestal than the rights of individual people, barring nine Kashmir-based media outlets from making derogatory and defamatory remarks against a person accused of the abduction and sexual assault of a 23-year-old woman.

The Srinagar court further mentioned that even a convicted person is entitled to fundamental rights and that there is no difference between an accused person’s fundamental rights and the common person’s rights. Therefore, it can not only defame the plaintiff and his family but also interfere with the fair and impartial investigation to allow the media to publish any negative and defamatory content,

In addition to issuing summons to media entities for the filing of written statements, the Court also ordered defendants to suspend the links to any negative and defamatory statements or material already published on social media/internet or news portals.

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