‘SC cannot tell media how to report’

The court was told that any attempt to postpone news outflow would in effect only mean that the judiciary is imposing a ban.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 30, 2012 12:14 am

Strongly advocating freedom of press in the age of social media,Editors Guild of India on Thursday categorically said the Supreme Court does not have the power to tell the media how and when to report.

Editors Guild counsel Rajiv Dhavan apprised a five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia that “media has extended in style and expanse of operations” to include Twitter and Facebook where news and opinions are churned out within seconds to millions of readers across the globe.

So,Dhavan said,while a drawing a line between respectable media and yellow journalism,the only way to resolve errors in news reporting is for them to “do it internally”. “Your Lordships do not have the power,” Dhavan said.

Objecting to the SC’s intention to frame guidelines clothed with the “the force of law” on parameters of permissible reporting of cases until the Parliament comes up with a statute,Dhavan said,“We do not want self-regulation to be converted into statutory regulation.”

The SC had queried on Wednesday whether a judge can “postpone” the publication of news for fear that it would affect fair trial. The court was told that any attempt to postpone news outflow would in effect only mean that the judiciary is imposing a ban.

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