Delhi High Court dismisses PIL seeking to curb ‘negative news’ on COVID

Freedom of Press Law Insider IN
Freedom of Press Law Insider IN

Kareena Eugene

On Monday, 3rd May 2021, the Delhi High Court while dismissing a petition seeking “restrictions” related to airing news on COVID-19 crisis spread across the Country, said there can be no curbs on the media as long as they are not spreading false news.

The petition filed by Advocate Lalit Valecha while seeking directions to frame guidelines regarding airing of news articles of sensitive nature, stated that, “That TV channels must ensure that by airing such negative images/visuals/stories, they do not indulge in glorification. The news article should be aired with the objective to incite positivity”.

The PIL alleged that the news channels are airing “very negative” news of the second wave of the Corona pandemic, which is causing a “sense of insecurity towards life” among people.

A Bench of Chief Justice D. N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, said that “We see no reason to entertain the petition” called the Plea “Publicity Interest Litigation”. The Court also added that airing any news depends on the news itself. The Court noted that, “not a single violation has been pointed out”.

The Court added that, “Whenever news about death is published, it cannot be said that it is negative news. It is a wrong notion in the mind of the petitioner”.

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