CJI Ramana expresses dismay over communalization of news by media

In the case of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind v. Union of India, the Chief Justice of India, N. V. Ramana, expressed dismay that the media was communalising and sensationalising every news.

CJI Ramana admonished that such communalization would lead to giving the country a bad name.

This opinion of CJI Ramana was aired when in a 3-judge bench, the petitions on how some media had connected the spread of coronavirus to a Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi.

He expressed concern that social media only listened to ‘powerful voices’, and the complaints and grievances of ordinary citizens, and even opinions of institutions and judges about the appropriateness of the content were not taken into account.

The CJI said, “These Web channels, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube… They never respond. There is no accountability. About the institution they write badly and then they do not respond… This is the condition of institutions, forget individuals… They consider only people who are powerful.”

The Supreme Court asked about any regulatory mechanism to control the internet content, and they were apprised by Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta about the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, wherein the redressal of grievances on OTT platforms and social media platforms was provided for.

The IT Rules, 2021 especially provide for the appointment of a grievance redressal officer who is a resident of India. And in case of complaint against broadcaster, the relevant Rules are the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules of 2021.

The Government had asked the Supreme Court to transfer to itself all cases challenging the IT Rules that were currently in various High Courts of the country.

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