JUSTICE D.Y. CHANDRACHUD, JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA, JUSTICE K.M. JOSEPH
JUSTICE D.Y. CHANDRACHUD, JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA, JUSTICE K.M. JOSEPH
Litigation News

"If things were so hunky-dory, we wouldn't have to see what we see on TV every day": 13 remarks made during the "UPSC Jihad" hearing in SC

Here are some of the interesting comments made today during the hearing presided over by the Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph.

Bar & Bench

The Supreme Court's hearing in the plea filed against Sudarshan TV's show on "UPSC Jihad" today witnessed several interesting exchanges touching upon the permissible limits of free speech, journalistic ethics, and the Court's role in such areas.

Here are some of the interesting comments made today during the hearing presided over by the Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph.

1. "We need to look at the ownership of the visual media. Entire shareholding pattern of the company must be on the site for the public. The revenue model of that company should also be put up to check if the government is putting more ads in one and less in another."

Justice KM Joseph

2. "Media can't fall foul of standards prescribed by themselves. Next, in debates, one needs to see the role of the anchor, how one listens when others speak. Check in the TV debates the percentage of time taken by the anchor to speak. They mute the speaker and ask questions."

Justice KM Joseph

3. "Power of electronic media is huge. Electronic media can become the focal point by targeting particular communities or groups."

Justice DY Chandrachud

4. "The anchor's grievance is that a particular group is gaining entry into the civil services. How insidious is this?...Such insidious charges also put a question mark on the UPSC exams. Aspersions have been cast on UPSC. Such allegations without any factual basis, how can this be allowed? Can such programs be allowed in a free society?"

Justice DY Chandrachud

5. "Freedom of the journalist is supreme... It would be disastrous for any democracy to control press...There is also a parallel media other than electronic media where a laptop and a journalist can lead to lakhs of people viewing their content."

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta

6. "We are not on social media today. We cannot choose not to regulate one thing because we cannot regulate all."

Justice Chandrachud, in response to SG Mehta's concerns

7. "When we talk about journalistic freedom, it is not absolute. He shares the same freedom as other citizens. There is no separate freedom for journalists like in the US. We need journalists who are fair in their debates."

Justice Joseph

8. "Your client is doing a disservice to the nation and is not accepting that India is a melting point of diverse culture. Your client needs to exercise his freedom with caution."

Justice Chandrachud to Shyam Divan, who appeared for Sudarshan TV

9. "Gautam Bhatia has a blog which I read too. He has a statutory warning too (smiles). But that cannot be compared to profit-making entities. An intellectual blog on academic interests is very different than such organizations..."

Justice Chandrachud in response to SG Mehta's claim that electronic and print media cannot be compartmentalised

10. "As the Supreme Court of the nation, we cannot allow you to say that Muslims are infiltrating civil services. You cannot say that the journalist has absolute freedom doing this."

Justice Chandrachud

11. "We need to ask you if you exist apart from the letter head. What do you do when a parallel criminal investigation goes on in the media and reputation is tarnished?"

Justice Chandrachud to counsel for News Broadcasters Association

12. "The edifice of a stable democratic society and observance of constitutional rights and duties is based on the coexistence of communities. Any attempt to vilify a community must be viewed with disfavour."

Justice Chandrachud, in the order passed today

13. "Really? If things would have been so hunky-dory, then we would not have to see what we see on TV every day."

Justice Chandrachud responding to Press Council of India's submission that it had regulations in place

Following today's hearing, the Court has passed an interim order injuncting Sudarshan TV from airing any more episodes of their "UPSC Jihad" show. The matter will be heard next on September 17.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news
www.barandbench.com