Why are you mute spectator to hate speech on TV channels: Supreme Court asks Modi govt

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September 21, 2022

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New Delhi, Sept 21: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government as to why it was standing as a "mute spectator" to hate speeches while also expressing displeasure over mainstream television channels for running such shows and programmes.

The court asked where the country is heading to, as it put a poser to the Union government as to why it was treating the issue as trivial one.

"Hate speech poisons the very fabric of our country, it can't be permitted. Political parties will come and go but the nation and institution of free press will endure. We should have true freedom, and the government should come forward to take a stand," a bench of Justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy said.

Without naming TV channels, the court said freedom of press is important, "but we should know where to draw the line". Nowadays, anchors don't allow their guests to speak, run them down, mute them and become discourteous too, the bench said.

"All this is going in the name of freedom of speech. It is sad if nobody making them accountable," the bench said, adding the free speech also included the right of the viewers.

"Until institutional mechanism is put in place, people will continue like this. We should have a proper legal framework," the bench added.

The bench specifically asked the Centre if it is contemplating any legislation to control hate speech in terms of the Law Commission of India's 267 th report which suggested amendment to the IPC and Criminal Procedure Code.

The court was hearing a batch of PILs including by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay for framing a law to control hate speech and rumour mongering.

Deliberating upon the role of media including the Television Channels, the court referred to previous SC judgements in Vishakha and Tehseen Poonawalla cases to saying some guidelines could be framed after considering the Centre's response.

Citing the role of media, the court said, it is not to take orders from anyone if it is truly independent.

"You (media) should foster constitutional values, everybody is part of this republic. Everybody belongs to this one nation," the court said, adding hate speech can take place in various forms like running a slow campaign against a community.

The bench said the Union government should not take up the matter as adversarial and take it up as an opportunity to bring out some legislation.

After hearing Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj and advocate Sanjay Tyagi for the Union government and senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, and others, the court asked the Centre to file a response within two week.

The court asked Hegde to assist it by collating points from writ petitions filed in the matter.

The Centre, on its part, said following the top court's order of July 21, it had received response from only 14 states on the issue.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on November 23.

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News Network
November 26,2022

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Mangaluru, Nov 26: A parked car caught fire triggering panic at Balmatta in Mangaluru on Saturday noon.

The car engine and battery has been damaged in the mishap. It is suspected that a short circuit caused the mishap. Fire was doused immediately, sources said.

“We were having juice at a juice outlet in Balmatta. The engine was on. Suddenly, smoke started coming out from the front portion of the car," said Rifad from Mangaluru.

The car was purchased seven years ago. Traffic ACP Geetha and other officials visited the spot.

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News Network
November 17,2022

Bengaluru, Nov 17: With Congress accusing him of being involved in major electoral data theft, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said he would order a detailed inquiry, even as he described as “baseless” the allegations made by the Opposition.

“Let there be an inquiry and let the truth come out. We’re not shying away from an inquiry,” Bommai said, adding that he had asked BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Girinath to file a case.

Bommai explained that the Election Commission of India (ECI) tasks local bodies such as the BBMP to take up Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programmes for which nonprofits are roped in. “Earlier, too, when the Congress was in power, NGOs were involved,” he said.

“It has come to light now that one NGO misused its position. I will see to it that the entire episode is comprehensively probed,” he said.

Bommai rubbished the Congress’ demand for his resignation. “It’s laughable. I’m astonished at how Congress has gone bankrupt with ideas. There’s not even a remote connection (with me). And, if this is the yardstick, then the Congress CM should have resigned 100 times,” he said.

According to Bommai, the claim that voter data was stolen is unsubstantiated. ”What’s the proof that private information was given or taken? There’s nothing wrong there on paper. It’s a baseless allegation,” he said. 

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November 24,2022

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Khandwa (MP), Nov 24: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her family members joined her brother Rahul Gandhi this morning as the Bharat Jodo Yatra moved through Madhya Pradesh.

This is the first time Priyanka Gandhi, the general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh, will be participating in the yatra, set out for Kashmir from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7.

The Congress shared an image of Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi walking shoulder to shoulder and wrote: Our steps will be stronger when we walk together.

The yatra, which entered Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday after completing its Maharashtra leg, will cover a distance of 380 kilometres in Madhya Pradesh before proceeding to Rajasthan.

A large number of Congressmen carrying the tricolour in their hands reached Bodarli village as the foot procession crossed over from Maharashtra into Madhya Pradesh.

Speaking on the occasion, Rahul Gandhi said, "This yatra is against hatred, violence and fear being spread in the country. We have started the Bharat Jodo Yatra by taking the tricolour in our hands from Kanyakumari. Nobody can stop this tricolour from reaching Srinagar."

The Congress has made elaborate arrangements for the yatra in MP, where the Assembly polls are due next year. Senior leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh have also joined the yatra.

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