Shivangi Prakash-

Published on: September 3, 2021, at 14:10 IST

The Supreme Court expressed concern on Thursday over the communal colour given to news, while also criticising web portals and social media platforms for allowing fake news to circulate and failing to reply to Judges.

They only care about powerful folks, remarked India’s Chief Justice, NV Ramana and said, “If you go to YouTube you can see how much fake news is there. Web portals are not governed by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to news and that is the problem. It ultimately brings a bad name to the country.”

To address the Court’s concerns, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated that the Government has enacted the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate web-portals and social media platforms.

Many petitions challenging the IT Rules had been filed in various High Courts, according to Mehta, and the Government had attempted to move all of them to the Supreme Court. Mr Mehta urged the Court to put the requests for transfer on the docket.

The CJI-led panel was considering a petition brought by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind in 2020, during the first wave of the Covid19, challenging the communalization of the Tablighi Jamaat event by a section of the media.

According to the petition, the media communalized the Nizamuddin Markaz event, and some print and electronic media outlets “demonised the whole Muslim community.”

The Supreme Court had already chastised the Centre for drafting an Affidavit in response to the Jamiat’s plea that was “evasive” and “brazen.”

SG Mehta today requested an extension of two weeks to file a new affidavit.

The Court agreed, and the suit was scheduled to be heard in six weeks, along with the Centre’s transfer petitions in several High Courts contesting the IT Rules.

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