30 Oct 2021 7:00 AM GMT
While acknowledging the 'active positive role' played by the print media to restore peace and order within the state of Tripura following the recent violent incidents, the Tripura High Court, however, added a note of caution, saying "media has every right, as a part of their activities to publish the truth. It should not be allowed to be used to spread untruth and spread communal...
While acknowledging the 'active positive role' played by the print media to restore peace and order within the state of Tripura following the recent violent incidents, the Tripura High Court, however, added a note of caution, saying "media has every right, as a part of their activities to publish the truth. It should not be allowed to be used to spread untruth and spread communal passion".
The assertions came from the bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice S. Talapatra on Friday as it took suo moto cognizance of the issue of violence in North Tripura District, Unakoti District as well as in the Sipahijala District.
Read more about the court's order here: Tripura Violence- High Court Takes Suo Moto Cognizance; Seeks State's Reply On Plan To Scuttle Design Of Stoking Communal Passion
Essentially, the Court has taken cognizance of the October 26 violence, following the reports of minorities being targeted in the state and properties being vandalized. As per the media reports, the state of Tripura has witnessed violence during the protests called by Hindu outfits post the incidents of vandalization of Durga Puja pandals in Bangladesh.
However, the state government, in a brief note submitted before the High Court, claimed that many pictures and videos were circulated on social media spreading certain misinformation about the violence, which were morphed and that the same had the potential to disturb the communal harmony in the State.
The said report of the State also avers that allegations have been made in the FIR that certain shops and homes of persons belonging to the Muslim community had been burnt during the violence. Allegations have been also made alleging damage to a mosque.
Further, the State has also claimed that certain pictures and videos are being spread in social media which do not pertain to incidents in Tripura and rather, they belong to other incidents that happened outside State/outside the Country.
In view of the submission of the Advocate General that certain articles or visual footages which are either morphed and/or unrelated to the State of Tripura were spread with the sole intent of once again reigniting the passions of people, the Court issued the following order:
"We direct the State to initiate appropriate action against all such social media platforms in order to ensure that such false, fictitious and or fabricated news articles or visual footages do not come on to the social media platforms and even if they do so that they are removed at the earliest opportunity"
Significantly, the Court also called upon the social media platforms to act responsibly. The State Government has been directed to submit its response regarding its plan to scuttle the design of stoking communal passion or to perpetrate in the violence by November 10.
The matter has been listed for further hearing on November 12.
Case title - Court on own motion
Click Here To Download Order