The Supreme Court of India relieved two CNN-IBN media persons from the charges framed by the Delhi police for carrying out a sting operation on some Members of Parliament (MPs) in 2005. The SC believes that a beforehand intimation can leak confidential information about the operation and the respective target may be cautioned.
While this may be a welcome verdict for the journalists, it also invites hundreds of people with malicious intent to invade personal space and buttress this judgement to claim immunity from any sort penal action. The SC is playing with a double-edged sword here.
Interpreting this ruling with UK’s media freedom movement, the verdict on “phone hacking scandal” would have been altogether different. The question is here to judge the intent of the operation before determining its legality. But in either case, sting operations for Journalism should be an exception, rather than a rule.