Supreme Court says on fake news against Tablighi Jama’at ‘freedom of speech is one of the most abused freedoms’
Hearing a case seeking action against television channels for disseminating fake news about Tablighi Jamaat, the Supreme Court says ‘freedom of speech is one of the most abused freedoms’
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought action against alleged TV channels in the context of reports on Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz incident, saying that “the right to ‘freedom of speech and expression’ has been a most abused phenomenon in the recent past.’The affidavit filed on behalf of the Centre (central government) is extremely evasive and does not respond to the incidents of bad reporting.’
A bench headed by Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramaniam headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, while hearing the plea of Jamiat Ulma-e-Hind, Peace Party, DJ Halli Federation of Masjid Madaaris and another Abdul Quddus Laskar and others.
The bench responded strongly to the affidavit submitted by the Center in response to the plea and said that it has been filed by a junior officer and said unnecessary and nonsense in relation to media reporting on the Tablighi Jamaat issue.
The bench said, “You cannot treat this court this way. The affidavit is filed by a junior officer. It is also extremely evasive and does not respond to the incidents of bad reporting,”
The apex court has also sought an affidavit from the Secretary (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting). On behalf of the Jamaat, the senior counsel Dushyant Dave said that the central government has stated in its affidavit that the petitioners are trying to violate the freedom of ‘speech and expression’ to which the bench said, “Secretary must tell us what he thinks of the specific incidents (cited by the petitioner) and not make nonsensical averments like what has been done now,” Bobde said and posted the case for further hearing after two weeks.’
The Nizamuddin area in Delhi was sealed on March 30 after Tablighi Jamaat, were found to be infected with Coronavirus. It came to light when several participants in a religious event held in March at Nizamuddin by Tablighi Jamaat (a Muslim sect).
At least 16,500 people had visited Tablighi Jamaat’s headquarters in Nizamuddin between March 13 and 24.