Trial by Media - Jessica Lal Case

5 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2008

See all articles by Navajyoti Samanta

Navajyoti Samanta

School of Law, University of Sheffield

Date Written: March 2008


With the advent of media in every sphere of human life, the last bastion of protection from prying eyes, the judiciary, seems to have fallen. Trial by media made famous or infamous by the Simpson case has arrived in full regalia in India with a virtual retrial in Jessica Lal case, where intense outpour of protest after a not guilty verdict had forced the hands of Govt to order a retrial. One has the highest respect for the judiciary but the accusation that the media are playing judge, jury and executioner is rooted in a misconception of the role of the media in the new technological age. However somewhere there should be the limit. The Indian Constitution guarantees fair trial. This project tries to find out how far the doctrines of free speech can be stretched to subvert free and fair trial.

Keywords: Trial by media, Jessica Lal, Fair trial, Free speech

Suggested Citation

Samanta, Navajyoti, Trial by Media - Jessica Lal Case (March 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Navajyoti Samanta (Contact Author)

School of Law, University of Sheffield ( email )

Bartolome House, Winter Street
Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 7ND
United Kingdom
0114 222 6771 (Phone)

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