New Delhi: The Supreme Court docket on Monday placed on maintain Andhra Pradesh authorities’s motion towards two TV channels and issued a discover to the state authorities asserting, “It is time we outline limits of sedition.”
“The Andhra Pradesh authorities shouldn’t take any coercive steps towards Telugu news channels TV5 and ABN Andhra Jyoti,” the Supreme Court docket mentioned.
“The Andhra Pradesh authorities’s act of submitting sedition circumstances towards the channels is muffling channels. It’s time the courtroom outlined sedition,” mentioned Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
The courtroom additionally mentioned, “We’re of the view that provisions of 124A and 153 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) require interpretation, notably on the problem of rights of press and free speech.”
Part 124 A offers with sedition and 153 with provocation for riots.
At a separate listening to on Covid and vaccination earlier than a two-judge bench, when senior advocate and amicus curiae Meenakshi Arora raised the problem of dignified dealing with of our bodies of victims of the lethal virus, “sedition” got here up once more, with Justice Chandrachud making a caustic comment on the repeated invoking of the sedition regulation by the Centre and state governments to curb news and views which can be essential of them.
“Yesterday we noticed photos of a useless physique being thrown right into a river,” Justice L. Nageswara Rao noticed.
“Sure. There was an image of a physique being thrown right into a river. I have no idea whether or not a grievance of sedition (has been) filed towards the news channel for exhibiting it,” Justice Chandrachud replied.
The alternate got here hours earlier than a three-judge bench, together with the identical two judges and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, placed on maintain the Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh authorities’s motion towards the 2 TV channels. The problem in courtroom pertains to an FIR on their reportage of the Covid-19 pandemic within the state.
The news channels challenged the FIR earlier than the Supreme Court docket, arguing that the Andhra authorities had violated a latest courtroom order that restrained governments from punishing residents for flagging Covid-related grievances.
TV5, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan and advocate Vipin Nair mentioned, “The try of the FIR is to create a chilling impact for news channels within the State, so that each news channel is cautious of internet hosting any content material which is essential of the federal government. By submitting a obscure FIR and abusing the method of regulation, the State intends to silence its critics and the media.”
The apex courtroom had earlier taken robust be aware of registration of legal circumstances towards those that sought assist for Covid-19 associated issues on social media and have been essential of the federal government’s dealing with of the pandemic.