Where our nation is headed ? : Supreme Court

Issue of hostile and venomous statements made through debates on news channels

New Delhi – The Supreme Court expressed its anguish over the hostile and venomous statements being made during debates on news channels on various subjects. The SC also asked where our Nation was heading, while stating that there should be codes or guidelines even for the media. The SC questioned the Government on its stance of being a mute spectator when such things are happening and treating them as trivial matters. The SC advised the Government to take initiative in this regard, asked the Government to submit its response and indicate if it was considering passing of a law as per the recommendations of the Law Commission to handle abhorrent crimes.

A hearing was held on 11 petitions filed regarding hostile statements shown on news channels; a programme titled ‘UPSC Jihad’ and speeches in the ‘Dharma Sansad’ telecast on the Sudarshan channel were included in the petitions.

The Court inquired about the existing provisions in the Indian law relating to hostile speeches. Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, one of the petitioners, said that there was no clear definition of ‘hostile speeches’ and ‘spreading rumours’ explained under the law.