Updated: May 4, 2021 2:25:12 am
The Delhi High Court on Monday, while dismissing a petition seeking “restrictions” on airing of news related to the Covid-19 crisis in the country, said there can be no curbs on the media as long as the information they are putting out is correct.
The PIL alleged that news channels are airing “very negative” visuals and stories of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is causing a “sense of insecurity towards life” among people.
A division Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, while calling the plea a ‘publicity interest litigation’, said, “We see no reason to entertain the petition.”
The court added that the telecasting of news depends on the news itself. “Not a single violation has been pointed out,” the court noted.
It further stated that all kinds of news are broadcast by media. “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,” it said.
The PIL alleged that since the surge in Covid-19 cases, television channels in a “most irresponsible manner” have been showing “precarious, pathetic and unbearable” pictures of dead bodies and families of the deceased, non-availability of beds in hospitals and shortage of oxygen and essential medicines and visuals of patients and attendants at Covid-19 hospitals.
“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 petition filed by lawyer Lalit Valecha stated, while seeking framing of guidelines regarding airing of news articles of sensitive nature.
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