Attempt on giving communal colour to news, a problem- CJI NV Ramana

Attempt on giving communal colour to news, a problem- CJI NV Ramana

While hearing a number of writ petitions seeking action against the media for communalizing the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi Nizamuddin Markaz, CJI NV Ramana today expressed concerns regarding the attempts in the online portal and social media to give communal colour to the news.

The CJI showed concerns over the fact that web portals are not governed or controlled by anything and social media companies only listen to powerful people and not to institutions or ordinary people.

“Twitter, YouTube or Facebook have never responded to us and there is no accountability. They have written badly about the institutions and they do not respond by saying that this is their right. They are worried and concerned only about powerful men and not judges, common man or institutions. That is what we have observed.”

The chief justice also asked if there are any rules governing web portals like YouTube.

“When you go to YouTube, there’s a lot which is shown in a minute. You can see how much fake news is being circulated there. Web portals are not controlled by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to the news which is a huge problem. This ultimately brings a bad name to the country”. The CJI said.

“Not just communal but also planted news,” replied India’s solicitor general -Tushar Mehta.

The new IT rules are intended to address the very same issues that are highlighted by the CJI, added the top law officer of the Union.

The Solicitor General further reported that IT Rules have been challenged in various High Courts and the Central Government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court.
SG has requested the bench to list the present petitions along with the transfer petitions.

The bench, which also comprised of Justice Surya Kant, has agreed to list the centre’s transfer petitions along with current petitions on IT Rules. 

The petitioner was granted the freedom to amend their prayers. The matter will further be posted in six weeks.

The News Broadcasters Association, which is the respondent in the petition, told the bench that the Kerala High Court had given them temporary protection from enforcement actions under the new IT Laws in the challenge made by them.

In response to the CJI’s observation, Advocate Sanjay Hegde who is appearing for a petitioner in one of the cases told the bench that Twitter had “debarred” and has also filed a case against the suspension of his account.