Centre Seeks SC Direction, Says No Media Should Publish Covid-19 News Without First Ascertaining Facts With The Government

Team SoOLEGAL 4 Apr 2020 1:18pm

Centre Seeks SC Direction, Says No Media Should Publish Covid-19 News Without First Ascertaining Facts With The Government

NEW DELHI: The Centre sought a direction from the Supreme Court on Tuesday that no media outlet to print, publish or telecast anything on coronavirus without first ascertaining facts from the government's system.It said that any deliberate or unintended, false or inaccurate news on any electronic, print, social media or web portals, in such an unprecedented situation of this nature, has a significant and unavoidable potential to trigger panic in large sections of society.


Considering the very nature of the infectious disease which the world is struggling to deal with, any panic reaction on the basis of such reporting by any section of society would not only be harmful to such a situation, but would harm the nation” it said.


“It is, therefore, in the strongest interest of justice that this court is pleased to issue a guidance that no electronic / print media / web portal or social media shall print / publish or broadcast anything without first ascertaining the true factual status of the central government's separate mechanism” the affidavit filed by the Centre said.The government said that even though an act of causing panic is a criminal offense under the 2005 Disaster Management Act, it will protect the nation from any potential and inevitable consequences arising from a false alarm with the potential to cause panic in a section of society.


"It is submitted that Ministry of Home Affairs has also taken many immediate, timely, effective and proactive actions almost on daily basis. The Home Minister is personally supervising the implementation of various directives/ advisories issued by the home ministry along with the cabinet secretary and the home secretary and senior officers in the control room which is operational for 24 hours", According to the affidavit filed in the SC.


The Centre added that the current bare foot migration which has taken place consists of, on a very rough estimate - 5 to 6 lakhs persons across the country.At this point, it is most important and crucial to point out that this kind of migration by the migrant workers alone in large numbers undermines the very purpose of the Central Government's preventive steps, the affidavit stated.


Tagged: SC Direction   Covid-19 News   Supreme Court   2005 Disaster Management Act   Ministry of Home Affairs   Central Government   affidavit  
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