The Delhi High Court issued a notice on Monday to a leading media organization, News Broadcasters Association, Press Council of India, and Union of India on a petition seeking direction to stop fake news.
This could be done by setting the accountability and responsibility of the concerned authorities and framing necessary guidelines and constituting a committee for handling fake news.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked the Centre and others to file a reply on the petition. The matter was listed for further hearing on February 26.
Manjit Singh had filed the petition through Advocate Parminder Singh Goindi challenging the reprehensible actions of certain media houses. It alleged that certain media houses have made offensive communal attacks by continuously circulating unverified videos through different platforms like Youtube channels, news channels, etc. pursuant to the events that happened on January 26 in New Delhi. The petition stated that these actions were offensive and a potentially fatal communal attack on the Sikh Community.
A vicious campaign directed at a particular community, at a time when public sentiments are at their peak can be dangerous for the community. The petition further said that it might lead to endangering the lives, liberty, and property of people belonging to the Sikh community.
The petition sought directions in the nature of mandamus to organize press conferences, circulate or publish only official news on the official websites of the authorities in order to counter fake news.
It also sought directions to stop media houses from transmitting, circulating, or publishing content that is directed towards vilifying a section of people and igniting hatred.
Recently, there have been quite a few petitions filed against the media houses for a number of cases. A petition was filed which sought to stop parallel media trial with reference to the Sushant Singh Rajput Case. It was alleged that the media hampers the process of the investigation by conducting a parallel trial. In another petition, the media was asked to stop airing news that would incite anger and violence in people. This has very harmful effects as the media is turning to be the most influential and plays with the emotion of people.
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