“TV channels think they are deciders, prosecutors and judges”

Senior lawyer Satish Maneshinde in conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now

GN Bureau | August 13, 2021


#pandemic   #Covid-19   #Satish Maneshinde   #law   #crime   #Media   #judiciary  


Castigating media for cooking up false stories to push TRPs, top criminal lawyer Satish Maneshinde has said that TV channels try to manipulate and manufacture public opinion but once the story is over it has no relevance.

In a conversation with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now, during the webcast of Visionary Talk series, held by the public policy and governance analysis platform, Maneshinde said in cases concerning NDPS (narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances), suicide and murders of his celebrity clients, media went berserk.

“TV channels think they carry the entire nation’s verdict. They think they are the executives, deciders, prosecutors, judges and they are going to deliver justice. They try to communicate their own feelings to develop their own TRP which has no relevance does not count once the story is over.”

In many cases he said people who carry their own media campaigns themselves land in jails. It is unfortunate that this is happening in the country.

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Recalling actor Sanjay Dutt’s 1992 bomb blast case which he was handling, Maneshinde said a certain media company not only went after him and Dutt, but also after the judge and the prosecutors and cooked up bogus stories. “The gentleman landed up in jail and was locked up. He was accused of serious offences. This was divine justice. These scoundrels don’t go unpunished,” he said.

Maneshinde said that people like Sanjay Dutt or Rhea Chakravarty and many other celebrities who got entangled in criminal cases were embroiled due to circumstances. They were not accused of a crime or involved in a crime where they profiteered.

While speaking on businessman Raj Kundra’s ongoing pornography case, the noted lawyer said the allegations in the case are that electronic methods were used for making large financial gains “….I don’t get entangled in such murky cases… if somebody is accused of a crime which he or she did not do and circumstances are very grave and people are after that person, I will take up the case and defend that person. But if you are committing an act for profiteering knowing well that it is wrong, immoral and against our nation’s policy… I have no sympathy for such people,” he said.

Asked how the judiciary has adapted to the ‘new normal’ of functioning amid Covid-19, Maneshinde said while physical appearance is the best way for courts, during the pandemic when the entire country was shut and the government itself was working through the virtual mode, it was the only way to render justice to common people of the country. At the same time people who did not have access to electronic medium could not get justice immediately as against those who had access to electronic mediums. But now with the government providing all the facilities almost everyone has a mobile instrument.

He added that during the lockdown, the judges have even herd petitions on WhatsApp and sat through till 12 midnight to hear cases. “Many judges were hearing cases till 4 am and 5 am. Despite the fact that the county was closed, courts were never shut.”

The noted criminal lawyer said 50% of his work is pro bono as a large number of citizens do not have access to justice. He said he gives priority to poor clients and those not financially well off, who approach him without prior knowledge or reference including people from media and press because at one time he himself was a penniless lawyer when he came to Mumbai.


 

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