Tablighi Jamaat case: Freedom of speech is most abused says Supreme Court

Tablighi Jamaat case: Freedom of speech is most abused says Supreme Court

On Saturday, Supreme Court sought affidavit from secretary-level officer with details of steps taken in past to stop motivated media reporting in such cases.

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde heard a bunch of petitions, alleging demonisation of Muslims by a section of media through the manner of their reporting on the Tablighi Jamaat issue. It allegedly gives communal colour to the Covid-19 outbreak at the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin.

Supreme Court also pulled up the Centre for its “evasive” and “brazen” affidavit in connection with pleas seeking action against alleged motivated media reporting on the Tablighi Jamaat.

“You cannot treat the Court how you are treating it. The affidavit is by some junior officer. The affidavit is evasive and says the petitioner shows no instance of bad reporting. You may not agree, but how you can say there is no instance of bad reporting shown? Secretary of the department must file an affidavit and avoid any unnecessary and nonsensical averments as made now,” Bar & Bench quoted CJI Bobde as saying to General Tushar Mehta.

“Like you are entitled to say a lot of things, they are too. We must also tell you that freedom of speech is the most abused freedom in recent times,” added Justice Bobde.

The court also asked the government to bring on record all relevant statutes with regard to regulating the TV Channels.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind had moved the apex court on April 6 seeking directions to prevent what it claimed was the communalisation of the Nizamuddin Markaz issue by certain sections of the print and electronic media.

The petitions will be taken up after two weeks.

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