The Supreme Court gave the PCI and the Central Government two weeks to respond on what steps are being taken by them to ensure that reporting of the Nizammudin Markaz issue is not communalised.
While dealing with the petition the Bench has asked the PCI and the Centre to include what action can be taken against erring media channels under Sections 19 and 20 of the Cable Television Networks Act, 1995.
Cautioning the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, that such issues may later culminate in law and order issues, the court stated,
“Don’t let people instigate law and order issues. These are the things that later become law and order issues.”
Appearing for the petitioner, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave argued that this was a serious matter that directly impacted minority rights after the Nizammudin markaz incident. Responding to this the court stated,
“We take all matters seriously. You don’t have to tell us again and again. Its a judicial process.”
After the PCI told the court that they had not received a copy of the plea , the Court gave the PCI, as well as the Centre, two weeks’ time to respond before adjourning the matter.
The plea filed by JamiatUlema-e-Hind claimed that the media had communalised the Nizammudin Markaz event, where about 2,500 individuals congregated in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The plea filed for the organisation by Advocate EjazMaqbool states that such reports by certain sections of print and electronic media has “demonised the entire Muslim community.”
The plea further states that this demonization has led to serious “threat to life and liberty of Muslims”, and has thus is violative of their “Right to life under Article 21.”
The petition highlighting Nizammudin Markaz added that most of the reports presented the facts in a twisted manner, using derogatory phrases like “Corona Jihad”, “Corona Terrorism” or “Islamic Resurrection”.
The petitioner organisation has prayed pass appropriate directives to stop communal reporting regarding the Markaz issue, delay of which would only “promote ill-will, enmity and hatred towards the Muslim community in India.”