The Supreme Court of India has directed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to prepare a comprehensive manual on police media briefings within three months.
The bench, which included Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice Manoj Misra, also directed all state Director Generals of Police (DGPs) to submit suggestions for the manual.
Furthermore, the court directed that the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) input be considered in this matter.
The issue at hand concerned two fundamental issues: first, the strategies to be followed by police in the event of an incident, and second, the conventions police should follow when leading media briefings during continuous criminal investigations.
While the Court addressed the previous issue in its 2014 decision in PUCL v. Province of Maharashtra, it is now focusing on the final option.
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud emphasised the importance of the issue, especially given the changing landscape of electronic media reporting.
He observed several layers of public interest in the case, including the public’s right to be informed during an examination, the likely impact of police revelation on the examination cycle, the rights of the accused, and the overall administration of justice.