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SC dismisses PIL seeking guidelines for regulation of TV channels to check sensational reporting

New Delhi, Aug 8 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL seeking guidelines for regulation of electronic broadcasting channels to check “sensational reporting”.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Sanjay Karol refused to admit the plea filed by Delhi lawyer Reepak Kansal.

“Who compels you to watch all these channels? If you do not like them, then do not watch them,” it remarked.

In 2020, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Centre, the Press Council of India, the News Broadcasters Association, the News Broadcasters Federation, and the News Broadcasting Standards Authority and sought their responses in the matter.

The petition said that there is need to regulate broadcasting electronic channel as there is circulation of fake news, bad journalism, or hate speeches in the name of journalism and these also became a platform to assassinate the dignity of an individual or religious and political organisations.

“Some of these broadcasting electronic channels have been targeting one community and instigating one community towards another community,” the plea alleged.

It said that television channels start Immediate a media trial or parallel trial in sub-judice matters and give its judgmental view on the public platform which amounted to interference in the administration of justice, adding that said trial held by broadcasting electronic channels violates the right to the accused to have a fair trial.

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