New Delhi, Sep 3 :
The Supreme Court Wednesday embarked on the task of framing guidelines to regulate the nature and extent of information police will disclose to the media on criminal cases.
The bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman asked counsel Gopal Shankarnarayanan to frame a question that would be sent to the central and state governments, including the union territories, to elicit their response on the issue.
The court gave Shankarnarayanan two weeks’ time to frame the question.
The respondents then need to reply in six weeks.
Sankaranarayanan was appointed amicus curiae in the last hearing Aug 28.
Broadly, the issues on which response of the central and state governments would be sought would involve how much information police should give to the media and at what stage of investigation and at what level of police hierarchy.
The issue would also include what information would be withheld from the media.
The apex court passed the order on the guidelines as it reserved the order on the proposed guidelines by it with reference to investigation of police gun battles, follow-up action and disciplinary action against police officials, if necessary.
The case is related to the guidelines prepared by the Bombay High Court in gun battle cases that were challenged by NGO People’s Union for Civil Liberties.