Other States

Supreme Court stays criminal proceedings against journalists who covered Tripura violence

AISA students and various organisation protested outside the Tripura Bhawan in New Delhi against violence in Tripura. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed criminal proceedings initiated by the Tripura Police against two journalists and their media house for their coverage of violence in the State.

A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also protected an associate editor of the same media house in the case.

The court issued notice to the State and sought a reply in a month. The order came on a plea filed by the journalists Samridhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha; Arti Ghargi, who is the associate editor, and their media house, Theo Connect Pvt Ltd, for quashing of the FIRs lodged against them in Tripura.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, for the petitioners, said, “The difficulty being faced is that you report the news, and one FIR is registered and then a second one is registered to say that it has been established in the first FIR that journalists are wrong. This is wrong and cannot be justified,” he argued.

The police have accused the journalists of spreading communal hatred by publishing baseless reports on the alleged violence.

The petitioners have, in turn, argued that the criminal justice administration system is being abused by the State to portray factual reporting of events as spreading of communal enmity. They contended that the reports were based on the statements made by the victims of the alleged violence. They urged the court to uphold the right of free speech and the duty of the media to speak truth to power in a democracy.

They said the “idea of justice” becomes the first casuality if reporting truth is criminalised.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:49:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/supreme-court-stays-criminal-proceedings-against-journalists-who-covered-tripura-violence/article37904934.ece

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