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Report No. 200

Summary: Editorial Note in 1969(2) SCC 734 is not correct:

The above discussion of the meaning of the word 'imminent' leads us to the conclusion that the time of arrest can be reasonably taken as starting point, whether the offence is a serious one or otherwise. The moment an arrest is made, the person comes within the protection of the Court for he has to be produced in Court within twenty four hours. This reason is given by the Scotland Court in Hall's case (1978) as above stated and is the basis of Schedule 1 of the UK Act of 1981.This reason is also accepted by the New South Wales (1990).

We do not, therefore, accept the editorial comments given below A.K. Gopalan's case in 1969(2) SCC 734 that that case treats 'arrest' as the starting point of 'imminence' in a criminal case when publications are made in relation to 'serious' offences like 'murder' and that only in such case there is likelihood of charge sheet being filed. In our view, from the point of the person arrested, whether the arrest is for a serious offence or not, the prejudicial publication affects the process of a fair trial.

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

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