The Supreme Court on Thursday made scathing observations about the electronic media in the country while also warning them not to behave like ‘Pope sitting in the Pulpit.’
Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, “Question of gagging the media does not come at all. I have myself rebuffed all attempts to gag the media, but we do expect media, especially electronic media, to become more responsible. They cannot publish anything only because they have some websites.”
A bench headed by Justice Misra said that the TV channels and websites ought to be more responsible while publishing news stories. Without naming channels, Justice Misra said, “We don’t want to name channels but some people think they are Pope sitting in a Pulpit and can pass judgement or deliver a sermon…that is not culture of journalism.”
The top court was hearing a defamation case filed by BJP President Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah, against a website for a story on the growth of his wealth. Justice Misra wondered if the electronic media and websites were free to write anything
“Are they free to write anything? What they write sometimes is sheer contempt of court. You cannot reproduce anything that comes to your heart and mind. There has to be some basis. You cannot nurture, construct, construe, create anything. That’s not culture of journalism,” News18 quoted Justice Misra as saying.
The website in its story had reported that Jay Shah’s company experienced an extraordinary growth after the BJP came to power at the Centre in May 2014.