SC Grants Protection from Coercive Action to Editor, Owner of News Portal in ‘Fake’ News Case Lodged in Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court on Friday granted protection from possible coercive action to the editor and the owner of a news portal in a criminal case lodged against them over allegations of spreading fake news about attacks on Bihar migrants in Tamil Nadu.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha, however, refused to consider the plea for quashing of the FIR lodged in Tamil Nadu and asked the editor and the owner of the portal, OpIndia, to move the Madras High Court for the relief.

The top court took note of the submissions of senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Nupur J Sharma and Rahul Roushan of the news portal, that the impugned news has already been taken back and now both of them are facing arrest.

“We direct there shall be no coercive action against them for four weeks,” the bench said, adding the plea for quashing FIR may be filed in the meantime before the court concerned.

“Jethmalani, how can we quash the FIR under Article 32 of the Constitution? You please go to the Madras High Court,” the bench said.

The FIR was lodged in Tamil Nadu over the allegations that the news portal allegedly ran fake news over Bihar migrant workers in the state.

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