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Calcutta HC Refuses Plea To Direct Government To Frame Policy Against 'Fake News' [Read Order]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
28 April 2019 12:04 PM GMT
Calcutta HC Refuses Plea To Direct Government To Frame Policy Against Fake News [Read Order]
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"However, the petitioner is not unjustified in pointing out that erratic and uncontrolled statements through the audio-visual media may not be conducive to proper management of the different communities and regulations ought to be considered for bringing it to place."
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The Calcutta High Court recently dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking a direction to Government to frame policy regarding broadcasting of fake news.

The PIL filed by Raju Ray sought directions from the Court to take requisite steps to check broadcast of unwarranted, baseless and false news reports by media houses and to formulate and/or frame a policy or guideline for media house and TV news channels to regulate the content and punitive action for broadcasting fake news.

The bench comprising the Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee observed that though the existing regulatory formula does not include any provision for a pre-telecast censorship, it is not inclined to guide the government in the matter of formulating a policy or making a law.

"We are not inclined to guide the government in the matter of formulating a policy or making a law. Fundamentally that is a matter for the legislative bodies and those authorized executive functionaries reposed with power to make such regulations to put in place and operate"

The court, however, observed that the PIL petitioner is not unjustified in pointing out that erratic and uncontrolled statements through the audio-visual media may not be conducive to proper management of the different communities and regulations ought to be considered for bringing it to place. This again is a matter of governance and primarily for the competent legislative bodies to decide appropriately, the bench said.

Read Order


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