THE DELHI High Court Tuesday said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting cannot say it “will not do anything” on complaints against TV channels when an investigation is sensitive in nature.
The observation followed the Centre’s submission regarding an application by actor Rakul Preet Singh. The actor has sought the court’s intervention against “fake reporting” by the media about her role in the drugs case being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau against actor Rhea Chakraborty and others.
Justice Navin Chawla ordered the ministry and News Broadcasters Association to inform the court about the steps taken in pursuance of its earlier order to expeditiously take a decision on complaints filed by the actor against various news channels.
Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma earlier submitted that any order in the matter will have a “cascading effect” on the investigation in the drugs case. The court was also told that Singh was issued a summons by the NCB but she is not an accused.
“…it is a sensitive matter. We have to take a balanced view of the entire thing. Today any order this way or that way is bound to have some cascading effect on ongoing investigation which is at crucial stage,” said Sharma.
However, the court said, “You have a power under Cable Television [Networks (Regulation)] Act. The petitioner has come to you saying that here are three reports, which are totally derogatory to women and they are totally false. Now right or wrong… may be the allegation is totally wrong as far as the petitioner is concerned but you will investigate into it. You cannot say I will not do anything because it is a sensitive information or sensitive investigation.”
Rakul Preet’s counsel, Aman Hingorani, submitted on the actor’s behalf, “I don’t do drugs …My reputation is in tatters.”
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