The Weekend Leader - Sheena murder: Ribeiro asks HC to end 'trial by media'

Sheena murder: Ribeiro asks HC to end 'trial by media'



Former top policeman and diplomat Julio Ribeiro has sought an end to what he termed the "media trial" in the ongoing Sheena Bora murder case investigations.

In a letter to Chief Justice Mohit Shah on Thursday, the 86-year old Ribeiro demanded his intervention to stop the "media trial" in the sensational case that has hogged national headlines on both print and electronic media.

"Everyday the media is investigating the crime... They have already convicted the accused persons even as the probe is at a nascent stage. This daily media trial and prosecution should not be allowed," Ribeiro told IANS on Saturday about his letter.

"The course of justice has to be decided by investigators, prosecution and judges. Channels taking over role of police, prosecutor and judges. This is perversion of justice and that's why I have asked the high court to intervene," he added.

Concerned by "witnesses appearing on TV before police reaches them", he said he had asked the court to order TV channels to stop trying the accused and exercise restraint.

"Justice has to be delivered by judges, not by (TV) channels. TV channels have to prevent injustice," Ribeiro said.

The former Mumbai police commissioner (1982-1985) and director general of police of Gujarat and Punjab, pointed out that "lots of other important cases like the recent M.M. Kalburgi murder, OROP and the Patel agitation of Gujarat are nowhere in focus" as the entire concentration is on the Sheena murder case.

He said TV channels were more interested in TRPs and are competing for eyeballs, with each claiming "we are the first", but the public is not bothered.

Ribeiro, who also served as a former Indian ambassador to Romania, urged the high court to issue a notice to all TV channels, and urged the need to ensure a fair trial, and proper police briefing to the media on the various aspects in the case.

He rued that every month, he writes a couple of letters to various authorities on major public issues, but the media is not interested in highlighting them.

However, his latest letter has generated media interested probably since it concerned the sensational Sheena Bora murder case. - IANS