Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre, Others On Plea Against Electronic Media

Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Central Government and others on Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to set up an independent, regulatory tribunal or judicial body, that can hear and expeditiously adjudicate upon a complaint against the electronic media filed by the viewers for hate speech, fake news, paid news, communal propaganda.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde agreed to hear the PIL and sought replies from the government and others.

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The petition filed by filmmaker Nilesh Navlakha and a civil engineer Nitin Memon sought guidelines for an independent high-powered committee headed by a former CJI or Supreme Court judge to review the entire legal framework related to media business rules.

The petition states that the tribunal can bring consequences for acting in a fashion that is contrary to constitutional goals and morals.

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The petition further states that it is not seeking to curb the fundamental rights of media-business. It said that the petition only seeks to bring some accountability for misinformation, inflammatory coverage, fake news, breach of privacy.

The PIL urged the apex court to set up a media tribunal to decide on complaints against media, channels and networks, stating that the media, especially the electronic one, “the unregistered horse, which needs to be nominated.”

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“Should restrictions on electronic media be kept at a high level over the years, media testing becomes the order of the day. These tests not only have a prejudicial effect on the rights of the accused but also its very concept is an anathema to the administration of justice,” PIL added.

It invoked guidelines outlining the broader regulatory paradigm within which media houses, broadcasters and electronic media can exercise their rights under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution to be judicially regulated.

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The PIL states, “A completely self-regulatory process makes electronic media a judge in its own case. Since its role has changed, from service to business, and mission to the profession, in such circumstances, it is not mechanically Maybe. Referred to as the fourth pillar, to avoid all judicial efforts in regulating it.”

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