Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rahul Mahajan - Trial by Media??

TOI edit on 6th june notes a fact in the ongoing case of Rahul Mahajan that instead of giving their story to the police the four young men involved in the case presented it to the media, first. The edit says

"While there is some justification for their act, it is a disturbing trend,
one that could lead to all kinds of distortions. Bypassing normal, well-laid-out
procedures cannot be encouraged."

Ha Ha..... a police that has lost all its credibility and hence trust of the country's people can only hide behind the fig leaf of well-laid-out procedures. No, I am not saying that their performace at cracking the cases is bad (that it is) but I am saying that their performace in conniving with the perpetrators of the crime is legendry. So what does the insecure do? They try and inform as many people as is possible. Thats the individual's best bet. And in the case in question the later developments proved them - ahem.... astute - if not right.

Do we think that Apollo hospitals did not try to help mahajan get out of this?
Do we think that police was trying hard when they did not arrest Rahul long after drugs were talked about?
Do we think police would do the same had I, a hardly popular and surely not political figure, been involved in the case?

Frankly - I might be wrong with those questions, but media is ensuring at least that police will have to follow due process.

TOI in the same edit says
It could also muddy the waters or prejudge the case. More importantly, it
has the potential of trial by media — a dangerous trend.

Yep.. possible and yes it is dangerous. But, lets take this risk. Let some high and mighty be victimised by the sheer incompetence and corrupt behaviours of our policing system. May be then that will improve the police forces.

TOI says further
Media must not give into sensationalism and not do anything that could help
the accused. They need to cooperate with the investigating agencies and
intervene only when absolutely necessary to help the cause of justice. This is a
test case. The media must live up to the role of watchdog if they are to
continue enjoying public credibility.

Noble words those - hey but the credibility or the balance comes from the fact that there is severe competition in the media and its cut throat - so one major error and TRPs could nosedive.

No, I am not worried that they will go over the top - they might be derailed, carried away some times, even get corrupted occassionaly but they will check themseleves just in time - if they have to survive.

Why, the TOI edit itself is an example - who is it cautioning - the media channels who are getting attaraction of people. So tomorrow if someone there actually slips the credibility test - another TOI edit will mention "See we told you". The powers that be in the channel will then act - a few heads may roll or a few at least get the rap. So the next story is done better.

Similarly let another high profile case come and the police will follow procedures better and Doctors would learn to stick to facts better rather than try to drop some distortions. Free markets at its best.......

PS. Lookout for the police and Doctors also learn fast.