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Report No. 200

Chapter III

Do Publications in The Media Subconsciously Affect The Judges?

There is then a nice question whether a media publication can 'unconsciously' influence Judges or Juries and whether Judges, as human beings are not susceptible to such indirect influences, at least subconsciously or unconsciously ?

The American view appears to be that Jurors and Judges are not liable to be influenced by media publication, while the Anglo-Saxon view is that Judges, at any rate may still be subconsciously (though not consciously) influenced and members of the public may think that Judges are influenced by such publications and such a situation, it has been held, attracts the principle that 'justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done'.

The Anglo-Saxon view appears to have been accepted by the Supreme Court as can be seen by a close reading of the Judgment in Reliance Petrochemicals v. Proprietor of Indian Express: 1988(4) SCC 592. If one carefully analyses that judgment, in the light of an earlier judgment of the Court in P.C. Sen (in Re):AIR 1970 SC 1821, this view of the Supreme Court appears to be clear.

Trial by Media free speech and fair trial under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 Back

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