Supreme Court Pulls Up Centre in the "Freedom of Speech" matter

Chief Justice SA Bobde commented "Freedom of speech is one of the most abused freedoms in recent times," during a hearing of petitions asking for action against the media for "spreading hatred" over the Tablighi meet at Delhi's Markaz Nizamuddin.

The Tablighi Jamaat gathering at a Delhi mosque is considered a violation of the virus restrictions as reported by the media. bobde commented against thge mead for "spreading hatred" over the Tablighi meet at Markaz Nizamuddin. The top court also berated the government for having a junior officer file what it called an "extremely offensive and brazen" response. The Tablighi meet in March became controversial as many who attended it became the carrier of the corona virus.

The media has been defended by the centre and said that there was "no instance of bad reporting". The government has been asked to file another affidavit, this time by the Secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, on the petition seeking action against some TV channels.

"You cannot treat this court the way you are treating it. Some junior officer has filed the affidavit. Your affidavit is evasive and says petitioner shows no instance of bad reporting. You may not agree but how you can say there is no instance of bad reporting shown," the Chief Justice questioned.

Bobde referred to a petition which was filed against alleged instances of fake news on the Tablighi Jamat members and said that "The Secretary must tell us what he thinks of the incidents pointed out by the petitioner. We find it extremely evasive. The affidavit does not make any response on the allegations made by the petitioners on some TV channels spreading hatred."

Bobde asked for a re-do and said that the fresh affidavit "should not make unnecessary nonsensical averments". the supreme court said that it would take up the case after 2 weeks.

Besides the Chief Justice, the bench included Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. They heard the case through video-link.

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