The Supreme Court sought responses from the Press Council of India (PCI), News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on a PIL which sought to set up a media tribunal to tackle issues concerning the media like complaints against media, channels, and networks. Media has become like an unruly horse that has to be tamed to express the plea.
The plea also sought setting up of an independent committee headed by the former Chief Justice of Supreme Court to review the legal framework and suggest guidelines to regulate the media. This suggestion was taken note of by a bench comprising of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices V Ramasubramaniam and A.S Bopanna.
Notices were issued by the bench to News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) and News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) on the PIL filed by filmmaker Nilesh Navalakha and Nitin Mamane.
The PIL was filed through the advocates Shashwat Anand, Rajesh Inamdar, and Amit Pai. They held that this PIL was not to curb any fundamental rights attested to the media but only to control the misinformation, fake news, and breach of privacy.
It sought toward framing guidelines and presenting a broad paradigm within which the media can function and can exercise their rights under Article 19(1) of the constitution.
The PIL said that the Media is pure business and one of the most powerful structures of power and thus we need to bring about rules and guidelines in order to regulate this power.
It held that an independent tribunal set up for this matter can help to hear complaints and adjudicate the matters effectively filed by the people. The tribunal can also bring about consequences to any action done by the media that is against Constitutional Goals and morality.
Legal questions were raised by the petitioners which included whether Article 21 of the Constitution gave the rights of the citizens to free, fair, and proportionate media reporting.
The plea said that the restrictions on media should be placed at a higher footing considering that media trials have become like the order of the day. The plea called it a prejudicial effect on the rights of the accused and also called its concept anathema to the delivery of Justice.
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