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Delhi Riots: Plea in Delhi HC seeks FIR against The Wire for allegedly reporting that safe passage order was for benefit of Muslim victims

Aditi Singh

An intervention application has been filed in the Rahul Roy matter before the Delhi High Court, seeking registration of an FIR against news portal The Wire for allegedly reporting that the order on safe passage passed by the Court in the early hours of February 26 was qua victims of "particular religion".

The intervention application will come up for hearing tomorrow before a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel.

Filed by Advocate Satyam Singh, the application states that while the order did not mention the religion of the injured and/or victims to which the relief was to be provided, some news agencies "blatantly misrepresented and mislead the society" by publishing that relief was granted exclusively to provide security and relief to injured and victims of a "particular religious community".

Alleging that such misrepresentation casts aspersions and bias on the integrity of the Court, the applicant has asserted one such news agency which “intentionally” misreported the order is TheWire.in.

“..the said agency reported the said order as “Delhi Riots Give Injured Muslims Safe Passage HC Directs Police In Late Night Order” vide url -https://thewire.in/law/delhi-riots-giveinjured-muslims-safe-passage-hc-directs-police-in-latenight-order,thereby depicting that the relief granted by this Hon’ble Court is qua religion of the victim..”
Intervention Application

While seeking action against The Wire for the alleged misreporting, the applicant has submitted that such instances of "misreporting of factual situations" has rampantly increased. Further, judicial intervention was required to not only maintain the peace and tranquility of the country, but also to protect the fundamental rights to freedom of speech and expression of citizens.

The application reads,

"..that Right to Freedom of Expression does not give freedom of any expression, but of informed expression, and the same must be discharged by those who are in the business of publishing news and public information."
Intervention Application

The applicant has also brought on record the Notification/ Advisory issued by the Government of India on February 25 to all private satellite TV channels to refrain from broadcasting any content which may contain “anything defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and halftruths”.

The applicant further seeks a direction to The Wire to take down the article immediately in the interest of justice.

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