Supreme Court seeks response of PCI, Centre on plea against media communalising Tablighi Jamaat incident

The Tablighi Jamaat’s headquarters in Nizamuddin has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot. PTI -  

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre and the Press Council of India (PCI) to respond to a petition filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and other minority organisations seeking a direction to the Centre to stop the media from communalising the Tablighi Jamaat incident, which is linked to the spread of COVID-19.

A Bench led by Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde asked the PCI and the Centre as to what action could be taken against the media channels under Sections 19 and 20 of the Cable Television Networks Act, 1995.

Senior advocate Tushar Mehta, for the Jamiat, said the petition raised a serious issue concerning minority rights. Chief Justice Bobde said the very fact that this was being taken up judicially apparently showed the seriousness of the court.

The court scheduled the case for hearing after two weeks.

The petitions had said that certain sections of the print and electronic media were spreading bigotry and communal hatred in relation to the Tablighi Jamaat conference held in the Nizamuddin Markaz area.

The Jamiat writ, filed through advocate Ejaz Maqbool, sought a direction to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to identify and take strict action against sections of the media that were communalising the Nizamuddin Markaz issue.

The petition said the “unfortunate incident of the Tablighi Jamaat was used to demonise and blame the entire Muslim community”. Certain sections of the media, instead of exercising restraint, reported the incident with a communal flavour. This may perpetrate hatred.

The petition said Delhi had already witnessed one of the worst riots in February. The situation there and in the rest of the nation was already tense and sensitive.

Communally flavoured reporting would only lead to further deterioration of circumstances. Media should tread with caution, the petition said.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 3:38:34 AM |

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