“YOU CANNOT TARGET ONE COMMUNITY AND BRAND THEM IN A PARTICULAR MANNER”: SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a pause on the airing of a private channel’s TV Show featuring “Muslim infiltration” in government services, terming it as “rabid.” A rather enraged court denigrated the show as an attempt to vilify Muslims. The petition filed against the show submitted that it fell within the category of hate content. The Apex court remarked that India is a melting pot of diverse cultures, and self-regulation by the media is required. The bench comprising J. Chandrachud, J. K. M. Joseph and J. Indu Malhotra also stated that the video contained factually incorrect statements.

On behalf of the respondent, it was contended that the show’s contents formed a part of investigative journalism, raising legitimate issues impinging on national security. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued before the court that journalists’ freedom is absolute, and it would be “disastrous” for any democracy to have any regulation on the press. The contention was recounted by J. KM Joseph, who mentioned that a journalist’s freedom is not absolute, and they enjoy the same freedom as any other citizen of the nation.

Concluding his remarks, J. Chandrachud mentioned that specific standards have to be in place to say we are in a democracy. The “best within the nation” should put forth measures to debate and ascertain such standards.

While delivering the judgement, the court also called for the constitution of a five-membered distinguished panel for prescribing standards for electronic media.

Reported By : Lakshmi Raj C

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