The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has submitted before the Supreme Court that the Supreme Court Court may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with respect to regulation of hate speech in media without the appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus.
The Ministry also submitted that if the Court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media as there already exists sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic/print media.
"..while in a mainstream media [whether electronic or print], the publication / telecast is a one-time act, the digital media has faster reach from wider range of viewership / readership and has the potential to become viral because of several electronic applications like whatsapp, tweeter, facebook. Considering the serious impact and the potential, it is desirable that if this Hon'ble Court decides to undertake the exercise, it should first be undertaken with regard to digital media as there already exists sufficient framework and judicial pronouncements with regard to electronic media and print media/". states the affidavit submitted by Vijay Kaushik, Under-secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Ministry submitted that in view of the issue having already received attention of the Parliament, as well as, the Supreme Court, the present petition be confined to only one channel namely Sudarshan T.V. and this Hon'ble Court may not undertake the exercise of laying down any further guidelines with or without appointment of an Amicus or a Committee of persons as Amicus.
The Ministry submitted that the fact situation in each case shall have to be decided on a case to case basis and a broader exercise which is too general in nature is neither warranted nor permissible.
"Even if this Hon'ble Court considers it appropriate to undertake the said 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 Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the Sudarshan TV News from telecasting the remaining episodes of the 'Bindas Bol' show about Muslims clearing the UPSC exam until further orders, after prima facie observing that the object of the show was to vilify Muslims.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra & KM Joseph was hearing a petition filed against the telecast of the show hosted by the channel's Chief Editor Mr. Suresh Chavhanke on the ground that it was communalizing the entry of Muslims into UPSC.