News By/Courtesy: Ayush Garg | 20 May 2020 20:45pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apex court said that India's independence is safe only as long as the journalist can speak out in front of the power without fear of retaliation
  • Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah made these stern remarks during the hearing on the case of Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami
  • Bench also referred to the provisions of fundamental right of expression given in Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution

The Supreme Court said that the freedom of journalism is the fundamental basis of the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression given in the Constitution. The apex court also said that India's independence is safe only as long as the journalist can speak out in front of the power without fear of retaliation.
The Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah made these stern remarks during the hearing on Tuesday in the case of Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami. The bench said that many criminal cases cannot be filed against a journalist concerning the same incident. Forcing him to circle for relief in many states is strangling the freedom of journalism.
The Bench also referred to the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (CRPC) about the fundamental right of expression is given in Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution and the investigation of a criminal case. The bench said the freedom of journalism is the fundamental basis of the fundamental right of protected expression given in Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
The petitioner is a journalist. Using the fundamental right of expression from the constitution, the petitioner expressed his views in a TV program. While delivering the 56-page judgment through video conferencing, the bench quashed all FIRs except for the case transferred from Nagpur to Mumbai, giving Arnab protection for three weeks. The demand for handing over the cases registered against him to the CBI turned down.
The bench asked Mr. Arnab Goswami to move the competent court to quash the Mumbai-based FIR. Earlier, on April 24, the apex court granted Mr. Goswami three weeks of interim protection in over 100 FIRs registered across the country. Goswami is alleged to have made objectionable remarks about the silence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in a TV show after the killing of saints in Palghar.
Justice Chandrachud said in the judgment that the rights given to freedom of speech and expression by journalists under Article 19 (1) (a) are high, but not unlimited. "The media is also accountable under the provisions of appropriate sanctions," the bench said.
“But to allow a journalist to be subjected to multiple complaints and to the pursuit of remedies traversing multiple states and jurisdictions when faced with successive FIRs and complaints bearing the same foundation has a stifling effect on the exercise of that freedom. This will effectively destroy the freedom of the citizen to know of the affairs of governance in the nation and the right of the journalist to ensure an informed society,” Justice Chandrachud said in the 56-page judgment.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 20 May 2020 21:33pm IST


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