Navigating through Perilous Waters of Media Trials in India

  • Ananya Bhatnagar
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  • Ananya Bhatnagar

    Student at Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad, India

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The topography of media trials is often very complex, especially when viewed in relation with social media. While the Indian Constitution duly recognises right to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a), a crucial question looms- how far does this right extend? Legal scholars have time and again expressed concerns regarding unchecked media trials that hold the potential for catastrophic consequences. The Indian Judiciary has expressed apprehensions about media trials, delving into the consequential impact on the right to fair trail of the accused. This sparks an ongoing debate between the principles of free speech and expression and the imperative of ensuring a fair trial guaranteed under Article 21. This perpetual struggle prompts a deeper exploration into the hierarchy of fundamental rights, compelling us to ponder which right should take precedence over the other. Furthermore, the new age of social media has fuelled the persistent discourse surrounding media trials. Unlike traditional media trials, where reporters and new channels often possess formal training in media, the landscape of social media is dominated by amateurs motivated primarily by likes and followers leading to unethical media trials. Therefore, it is crucial to establish clear boundaries and mechanisms for accountability to ensure those participating in unwarranted media trails are held responsible. This research papers attempts to navigate through media trials in India while presenting a perspective on the debate between free speech versus fair trial. This paper endeavours to analyse the placement of social media trails in the Indian scenario. Additionally, it directs attention to the crucial aspect of accountability in the context of media trials.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 340 - 352


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


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