Delhi HC dismisses PIL seeking ban on media reporting of deaths caused by COVID

On Monday, the Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL that sought direction for making and enforcing the Code of Ethics on TV channels for reporting sensitive news, including reports of large scale deaths, people’s suffering caused due to the second wave of Covid and to restrain TV channels and broadcasters from spreading negativity alarm and panic.

A Division comprising Hon’ble Chief Justice DN Patel and Hon’ble Justice Jasmeet Singh dismissed the plea and observed that informing the public about Covid deaths can’t be called negative news.

News channels and media were airing negative visuals/images stories in the most irresponsible manner as per the plea. The plea also pointed out that these reports were watched by everyone, including older people, critically sick persons and children.

It was further stated that there should be checks and balances on media that would instil a sense of responsibility, prevent abuse of freedom without impairing journalistic freedom. It was further stated that the media should provide information to the general public, but there have to be appropriate safeguards put in place.

The petitioner suggested that News channels needed to recognise that they have a particular responsibility in the matter to adhere to high standards and obligations of reporting since they can influence the public. It was further stated that freedom of expression and speech under Article 19 was not absolute, and the media should be conscious of the fact that they do not instil fear in the minds of the public.

Prayers sought in the petition:-

Issue directions to Union of India to frame guidelines/rules in a time-bound manner for airing news articles of sensitive nature like reporting large-scale deaths or people’s sufferings.

Restraining News channels and media channels from spreading negativity, insecurity about life, injury, alarm, suffering, damage etc.

To issue any other order, writ or direction which the Court deems fit.

g large scale deaths, suffering of people brought on by Second Covid Wave.

On Monday, the Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL that sought direction for making and enforcing Code of Ethics on TV channels for reporting sensitive news including reports of large scale deaths, people’s suffering caused due to the second wave of Covid and to restrain TV channels and broadcasters from spreading negativity alarm and panic.

A Division comprising Hon’ble Chief Justice DN Patel and Hon’ble Justice Jasmeet Singh  dismissed the plea and observed that informing the public about Covid deaths can’t be called negative news.

As per the plea news channels and media were airing negative visuals/images stories in the most irresponsible manner. The plea also pointed out that these reports were watched by everyone including old people, critically sick persons and children.

It was further stated that there should be checks and balances on media that would instill a sense of responsibility, prevent abuse of freedom without impairing journalistic freedom. It was further stated that the media should provide information to the general public but there has to be appropriate safeguards put in place.

The petitioner suggested that it was necessary for News channels to recognise that they have special responsibility in the matter to adhere to high standards, and to obligations of reporting since they can influence the public. It was further stated that freedom of expression and speech under Article 19 was not absolute and the media should be conscious of the fact that they do not instill fear in the minds of the public.

Also Read

Prayers sought in the petition:-

  • Issue directions to Union of India to frame guidelines/rules in a time bound manner for airing news articles of sensitive nature like reporting of large scale deaths or people’s sufferings.
  • Restraining News channels and media channels from spreading negativity, insecurity about life, injury,alarm, suffering, damage etc.
  • To issue any other order, writ or direction which the Court deems fit.

Download Law Trend App

Law Trendhttps://lawtrend.in/
Legal News Website Providing Latest Judgments of Supreme Court and High Court

Related Articles

Latest Articles