The Supreme Court today issued notice on a plea seeking directions to restrict unregulated, uncontrolled broadcast by channels from assassinating the dignity of individuals in the garb of freedom of press.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, was hearing a petition filed by advocate Reepak Kansal, seeking to protect the right to live with dignity guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The petitioner submitted: “The question of the legal control over electronic broadcasting sources i.e. radio, television and internet protocol television is a topic to be pondered over in recent times in India, especially when there is circulation of fake news, bad journalism or hate speeches in the name of journalism and which also became a platform to assassinate the dignity of an individual or religious and political organizations. The live debates and reporting on the electronic broadcasting channels cannot be stopped until unless it would be regulated by a statutory body.”
The petitioner referring to journalist Arnab Goswami, has alleged: “The said anchor called attackers as ‘Sonia ke gunde” etc and assassinated the dignity of individuals as well as political parties. There are a number of FIRs registered against him across the country prior and after the said false and baseless reporting on public platforms.”
The petitioner has also sought for an independent authority to be known as the Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India to regulate and facilitate the development of broadcasting services in India.
The bench is seeking response from the Centre and has listed the matter for next hearing after four weeks.
– India Legal Bureau