Observing that “no one can become an authority to pre-decide what can and cannot be published”, a Delhi court refused to restrain a Hindi news channel from showing content against a private hospital in Delhi in connection with the death of a man.
District Judge (Commercial Court) Man Mohan Sharma, however, directed the news channel and two of its reporters to prominently publish the version of the hospital and the facts made available to them by it representatives/officials. The court was hearing a suit seeking to injunct or restrain the news channel from defaming the hospital by showing news content which was allegedly false and one-sided.
On May 5, two of the television network’s reporters reported that a patient had died as the private hospital allegedly refused to admit him despite his condition being serious.
The court said that since there was no separate provision in the law for freedom of press, it must be culled from Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
“The law framers have been conscious of the freedom of press in a democratic society governed by the rule of law… legal jurisprudence has developed and crystallised that there can be no pre-censorship as to the publication by the Press. No one can become an authority to pre-decide what can and cannot be published,” the court said.
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