In reply to the plea filed against Sudarshan TV, Centre has submitted its reply on Wednesday stating that it must first regulate the digital media when it comes to laying down the standards as it has more reach and impact nowadays.
“Digital media has faster reach, potential to become viral due to apps like WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook. Digital media has serious impact and because of its potential, the court must first take up digital media, ” said the affidavit filed by Centre government.
Centre pointed out that there is already sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements on electronic and print media. “The issue of balancing freedom of speech and responsible journalism has already been governed by statutory provisions and judgments,” replied government.
The affidavit also stated, “If the top court wants to undertake the exercise there is no justification to confine this exercise only to mainstream electronic media. The media includes mainstream electronic media, mainstream print media as well as a parallel media namely digital print media and digital web-based news portal and you tube channels as well as ‘Over The Top’ platforms (OTTs).”
The government has asked the apex court to appoint an amicus curiae to get proper assistance in deciding the guidelines.
Supreme Court on Tuesday, had sought Centre’s reply over the petition filed against private TV channel, Sudarshan TV claiming that Muslims are infiltrating government services. Considering it an attempt to vilify Muslims, the court has put the show on hold.
“You cannot target one community and brand them in a particular manner,” said the court and restrained rthe channel from airing its “UPSC Jihad” episodes on the show “Bindas Bol”.
Observing “Journalistic freedom is not absolute”, the court expressed its concern towards the race for TRPs and sensationalism on TV and decided to set a panel to set the standards for electronic media.
Replying to the Press Council of India claims that regulations are in place, Justice DY Chandrachud stated, “Really? If things would have been so hunky-dory then we would not have to see what we see on TV every day.”
In the affidavit filed, News Broadcasters Association has stated that any channel found violating the standards, it should be fined with Rs 1 lakh.