Supreme Court condemns hate speech aired on TV

A Supreme Court Bench led by Justice K.M. Joseph said “we cannot give hate any air” on TV.

A Supreme Court Bench led by Justice K.M. Joseph said “we cannot give hate any air” on TV. | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the role of TV anchors is critical in monitoring that their shows do not descend into a flurry of hate speech.

The court said content on mainstream electronic media and social media remain largely unregulated. On TV, it is the duty of anchors to prevent hate speech.

Also read: What is ‘hate speech’, and how is it treated in Indian law?

A Bench led by Justice K.M. Joseph said “we cannot give hate any air” on TV.

The court wondered why the government continues to remain a mute spectator to hatred peddled in the electronic media.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions against the strident increase in volume of hate speech. The court posted the case for hearing on November 23.

The Supreme Court has been consistent in its efforts to stop hate on TV. In January 2021, the then Chief Justice S.A. Bobde had said that arresting hate on TV was as essential for law and order as arming policemen with lathis and putting up barricades to prevent the spread of violence and riots.

“Fair and truthful reporting normally is not a problem. The problem is when it [broadcast, programmes] is used to agitate others. There are broadcasts, programmes that definitely have the effect of instigating people, not just against one community, but any community... Why are you blind to them... You don’t do anything about it?” Justice Bobde had said.

Watch | What is ‘hate speech’?

The court had at that instance been hearing a batch of petitions, including one filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, which alleged that certain sections of the media communalised the Tablighi Jamat congregation by linking it to a spike in the spread of COVID-19 infection.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2022 3:52:08 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/duty-of-tv-anchors-is-to-prevent-hate-speech-supreme-court/article65918224.ece