Delhi HC: Media Reports to Air Report ‘in Tune with Official Press Releases’ by CBI & ED [Excise Policy Case]

Gavel Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on:22 November 2022 at 22:27 IST

Following a complaint about purported news leaks, the Delhi High Court ordered several media outlets to make sure that their coverage of the Delhi Excise Policy Scam cases is “in tune with official press releases” by the CBI and the ED and complies with rules.

The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDA), which claimed that it lacked the authority to impose restrictions on news stations, was also censured by the court. Justice Yashwant Varma asked, “Why shouldn’t we disband you if self-regulation is just eyewash?”

The decision was made in response to a petition filed by businessman Vijay Nair, who is a defendant in instances involving an alleged excise policy fraud that the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are looking into.

Nair filed a motion with the court earlier this month, alleging that the investigative agencies were leaking sensitive material about the case to the public, which was negatively affecting his right as an accused.

On Monday, Justice Varma gave notice to the media outlets mentioned in the petition while noting that the in question content was not based on any press releases that were allegedly released by the investigative agencies.

In order to determine whether the broadcast complied with the relevant rules, the judge instructed the news broadcasting authority to properly review it.

According to the court, “Pending further consideration, the court directs respondents 5 to 9 (media organisations) to ensure that all broadcasts that are carried in connection with (the case) are in tune with any official press releases that may be issued by the CBI or ED and comply with the directives which govern.”

2020 riots: Daily requests will be heard

In New Delhi: ‘United Against Hate’ founder Khalid Saifi’s bail request in a UAPA case involving the plot that led to the 2020 riots was heard by the Delhi High Court on Monday. The court announced that it would hold daily hearings on the batch of related pleas seeking the release of several accused beginning on November 25.

Among the petitions is the Delhi Police’s objection to the trial court’s decision granting bail to former Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan in the case. Justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar announced that their bench would be hearing each appeal in the opening statement.

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