HC junks plea on seizure of BBC documentary on Dec 16 gang-rape
Delhi high court on Friday dismissed a plea of one of the December 16 gang-rape case convict seeking seizure of BBC documentary India’s Daughter, apprehending it could be used against him during his appeal pending in Supreme Court against his conviction and sentence.
A Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul said since there was a stay order by a trial court on airing or screening of the alleged offensive documentary film, the plea was premature at this stage and is dismissed.
“I am entirely in agreement with the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) that the petition is premature at this stage as the relief pressed by the petitioner can be raised at the appropriate time before a concerned Metropolitan Magistrate.
The plea stands dismissed,” the judge said. During the hearing, Additional Public Prosecutor Nandita Rao contended that the plea was premature at this stage as the petitioner’s prayer that investigation should be done on the way documentary was made, aired and prepared was already being done by the agency.
It said the second prayer that the documentary film should be seized apprehending that it could be used against him in judicial proceedings, was also misconceived as airing of the film is already stayed by a trial court. Advocate M L Sharma, appearing for death row convict Mukesh, said the documentary should be seized as it is apprehended that it could be used against him in legal and judicial proceedings.
He said the documentary director and BBC have committed a serious crime against the petitioner as also against the country by damaging Mukesh’s reputation and sought direction from the court that the documentary should not be used in any legal or judicial proceedings. The Bench, however, refused to pass any such order and said that the issues could be raised before the trial court.