Solicitor General to SC: It would be disastrous for any democracy to control the Press


New Delhi, Sep 15 | Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the freedom of the journalist is supreme and it would be disastrous for any democracy to control the press.

Mehta made this argument during the hearing of a plea — by a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph — against Sudarshan TV for its show ‘UPSC Jihad’, which focuses on how Muslims have “infiltrated” the Civil Service. During the hearing Justice Chandrachud queried Mehta, can this (citing TV show) be tolerated in a free society and perhaps whether self-regulation can be put forth?

Mehta replied that it would be disastrous for any democracy to control the Press. Justice Chandrachud queried, is this truly an exercise of Article 19 (1) (a). Mehta replied perhaps the court may not have had the chance to look at the rabid things being put out through various mediums. “But the question is, can it be regulated,” queried Mehta, citing if something nasty has been written about him, could anything be done about it. “It is Press freedom after all”, emphasised Mehta.

Justice Joseph said no freedom is absolute, not even journalistic freedom. Mehta replied the ownership of a media platform often reflects the views expressed on the portals. In the post-lunch hearing, Mehta argued that there are various platforms, including blogs, which churn out all kinds of opinions. Justice Chandrachud said electronic media houses should be differentiated from individual blogs. Mehta argued that some channels were raising the bogey of “Hindu Terror”, some time ago. “The question is to what extent can the content be controlled?” queried Mehta. Justice Chandrachud said the Act says communal reporting cannot be done.

At the end of the hearing, Mehta reiterated that there are statutory authorities to deal with violations. After the September 9 order of the Centre, the broadcast took place between September 11-14. The Bench asked,”Did anybody in the ministry apply their mind on the broadcast which happened?” Mehta replied, he would have to take instructions on it.

The top court noted that the SG submitted that wider issues would have to be addressed from, not just the electronic media point of view but from other media too, from which objectionable content is shared.

The apex court stayed the broadcast of the remaining five shows of the programme, and added that it is inclined to have a committee of five distinguished citizens to suggest certain standards for electronic media. The bench said: “We don’t want this to be politically divisive.”

Earlier, the apex court had declined to impose a pre-broadcast ban on the show, and issued notice to the Centre. The petitioners had moved the top court arguing that the programme content would stoke communal tensions.

Source: IANS

Sponsors Posts

Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign "AapKiSideHai"

Policybazaar Unveils its new brand campaign

Akshay Kumar delivers the brand’s promise of always being on the customer’s side

Gurugram, 19th Sept, 2020: (Twitter handle: PolicyBazaar), India’s largest online insurance marketplace with over 10 million customers, showcases its commitment to customers in its new television campaign “AapKiSideHai”. The new ad campaign featuring Policybazaar brand ambassador, Akshay Kumar, highlights the brand’s promise of embracing a holistic customer centric approach while helping to bridge the insurance protection gap in India.

Policybazaar’sAapKiSideHai campaign seeks to reassure its customers on being a dependable Insurance partner for them, every step of the way. The brand has always focused on distributing products like term insurance, health insurance, zero commission ULIP’s and motor insurance that are optimal from a customer perspective. Policybazaar is now extending the brand promise beyond the purchase experience to ensure that consumers get the highest levels of service throughout the policy lifecycle.

The new brand campaign reinforces Policybazaar core value of putting the customer first by delivering on its promise of providing a trusted platform for all types of insurance products. The brand is committed to guiding the customer throughout the insurance journey, starting from recommending the right products at affordable pricing, ensuring thatthe policy issuance process is smooth and fast, and, to providing services and claims assistance when needed.

“While we continue to highlight the importance of Health & Term life Insurance through our marketing campaigns, with the brand promise of Policybazaar AapKiSideHai, we also intend to position Policybazaar as a customer centric brand, that is committed to stand by its customers, both pre and post purchase”, said Samir Sethi, Head of Brand Marketing, The new ad series highlights Policybazaar’s unparalleled support to customers, while providing them with the ease of comparing and buying term and health plans online with guidance at each & every step.

Speaking about the TVC launch, Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer, said, “Our ultimate aim is to provide 360-degree assistance to customers that starts from when the policy is bought, to provide assistance when the claim is paid out, should such a situation arise. Winning and maintaining customer trust is a strong ethos within the company and this campaign reflects that. At a time when the world is grappling with a crisis like no other, the brand intends to instill confidence in the customers’ buying decisions by assuring them protection of their futures with the right insurance products & thorough assistance throughout the journey.”

The new brand campaign in its series displays moments of indecision that people may have while investing in protection products. It addresses these queries &emphasizes the importance of nurturing a bond with the consumers thereby creating customer delight.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here