Regulate Digital Media First: Centre to SC in Sudarshan TV Plea

The Centre said there was already framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic and print media.

Published
India
2 min read
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has told the Supreme Court that if the court undertakes an exercise to regulate media then digital media should be looked at first.
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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has told the Supreme Court that if the court undertakes an exercise to regulate media then digital media should be looked at first as it has a wider reach, Bar & Bench reported.

The ministry also added there was already existing framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic and print media.

“...while in a mainstream media [whether electronic or print], the publication / telecast is a one-time act, the digital media has faster reach from wider range of viewership / readership...” the affidavit submitted by Vijay Kaushik, Under-secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting states, LiveLaw reported.

The Supreme Court on 15 September had ordered that Sudarshan News cannot air any further episodes of editor Suresh Chavhanke's show about 'UPSC Jihad' (or any similar content) till further orders from the court. In its order, the court said:

“At this stage, prima facie, it does appear to the court that the object intended by the broadcast of the show is to vilify the Muslim community. Several statements are palpably erroneous. In the circumstances, at this stage, the court is of the view that we are duty bound to ensure that the statutory obligations under the programme code are complied with.”

The Court had also called for the setting up of a committee of five citizens who would come up with standards for electronic media. However, the Centre in a 33-page affidavit said it is digital media which the court should look at first.

The Centre has also submitted that since the present petition is confined to only Sudarshan TV, the Supreme Court "may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with or without appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus."

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