SC asks PCI and NBA on action taken against fake news during Covid

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought responses from the Centre, Press Council of India and news Broadcasters Association on the action they have taken against print and electronic media as well as social media handles for circulating fake news to create communal disharmony during the Cover-19 pandemic.
Appearing for a petitioner Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, senior advocate Dushyant Dave told a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna certain Television Channels aired communally explosive content during the pandemic, especially after the Tablighi Markaz congregation at Nizamuddin came to light. He said such broadcasts and fake news in social media has done irreparable damage to the fabric of communal harmony in the country and repeatedly told the SC to take the matter seriously for action against TV channels.
The bench told Dave that he did not have to repeatedly tell it to take the matter seriously. "We take all matter seriously," the bench said and sought response from the Centre within two weeks about action taken against TV channels for broadcasting allegedly communally sensitive news in violation of Cable TV (Regulation) Act. SC said no one should be permitted to instigate and create law and order problem through fake news or communal broadcasts.
Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has sought action against those in media and few who are circulating fake news to communalise the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to Tablighi Markaz congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi. In the petition through advocate Ejaz Maqbool, it said few people in Gujarat started circulating leaflets accusing Muslims of being carriers of corona virus to vitiate the communal harmony and denting the united fight required to counter the pandemic.
The petitioner said such denigration of a community is continuing despite PM, BJP president and chief ministers of many states warning against communalisation of Nizamuddin issue to castigate an entire community. Jamiat has requested the SC to direct the Union home and information and broadcasting ministries to take strict action against those in media arousing communal passion and also those circulating fake news targeting an entire community.
After the Tabighi Markaz congregation and infection of many members with Covid came to light, The Centre on march 31 had told the SC that "Deliberate and inadvertent circulation of fake news and/or material capable of causing serious panic in minds of general public is found to be the single most unmanageable hindrance in the managemRead More – Source