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Home / Latest News / High Court warns Media to not to cross line of control on privacy in Matrimonial Cases

High Court warns Media to not to cross line of control on privacy in Matrimonial Cases

March 16, 2019:

Bench restrained a private television channel from broadcasting any programme in relation to the petitioner’s matrimonial dispute.

Right of Privacy in Divorce Battle
Right of Privacy in Divorce Battle

The High Court has said that the media should not cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ while reporting matters related to privacy issues like matrimonial disputes.

Elaborating on the duty of the media while restraining a private television channel from broadcasting any programme in relation to the petitioner’s matrimonial dispute, Justice B Veerappa said media attention should be towards exposing corruption, nepotism, law breaking, abuse, arbitrary exercise of power, law & order, economy, health, science & technology—all matters of public interest.

“The ‘Lakshman Rekha’ or ‘line of control’ should be that the publication of comments & information should not invade the privacy of an individual, unless overweighed by bona fide & genuine public interest,” the judge added.

Referring to the purpose of imposing reasonable restriction on the freedom of press, the court said that Right to information has been recognised as a fundamental right & the Right of the Press to furnish the information or facts or opinion should be only to foster public interest &  not to encroach upon the privacy of an individual, the court said.

The court further said that when the public has no legal right to impinge upon marital privacy, the press cannot claim a better right to publish in newspaper, magazine or any other media, in exercise of freedom of speech & expression.

Breach of Sec 22(1) punishable with fine

“When a matrimonial case is pending between a couple, the television channel should not have proposed to interfere with their personal life. If any person publishes any matter in contravention of the provisions contained in Section 22 (1) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, shall be punishable with fine,” said the High Court.

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