Plea in SC seeking Framing of Laws against Fake News

Plea in SC seeking Framing of Laws against Fake News, On Sunday 3rd march in honorable Supreme Court of India a PIL has been filed regarding the framing of guideline to curb fake news through print electronic and social media.

This petition is filed by Anuja Kapur highlighting the fake news and misinformation which flooded media in the wake of recent India-Pakistan tension, it also displays the videos of previous air-shows and photos of crashing fighter jets which were being peddled as the latest from both the countries on various platforms.

As per the petitioner, there has been a hike in the amount of fake news being spread in media, leading to various incidents of mob lynching, communal riots and breakdown of law and order. And we know that India is a country where there are democracy and in-country like this where media plays a very vital role and everyone is directly or indirectly connected to media.

Media is the fourth pillar of a democratic society. Media plays crucial role in a democratic society, most notably, the role of creating channels for the circulation of information and ideas, and the role of providing forums for public debate.

Media acts as a bridge between the people and the government. Media is an important stakeholder to societies in reaching the goals of development– both as contributors and beneficiaries. Media is playing a vital role in shaping human minds. Media also have a relevant role in many aspects of development, ranging from governance through to inclusion, empowerment, peace and youth involvement.

And in the context of all these considering the Pulwama Attack, one side Government declared that Pakistan operated the terrorist attack and another side certain part of media or certain Newspaper stated that this is your own Youth/Children who had done this. This is the twisting and even dilemma also. Are we really developed? Does our Media is developed? It’s defiantly not as if any rules and regulation are not made regarding this context then it defiantly affects the mass on a large scale if this type of fake news will be published in the coming future also.

There are no proper guidelines and punishments/penalties for those social media handlers, who are promoting the fake-news. There are no set-laws relating to restricting the fake news, which travels on various social handles. The petition states that “The non-restraining of the various fake –news traveling on social media handles leading to the following crimes against humanity violating Fundamental Rights, DPSP, Fundamental Duties and various Sections of I.P.C”. It seeks directions to the Central Ministries of Law & Justice, Information and Broadcasting and Electronics and Information Technology to constitute a Committee for framing guidelines for curbing fake news. It further seeks directions to the Central Government for organizing press-conference or uploading/ circulating/ broadcasting the authentic news on the official website of the concerned Authorities/ Department to counter fake news in the public interest.

Media has a big role in contributing to the economic and political development of citizens in each and every country in the world. It creates a broad range of information and communication to stimulate citizens on the various developmental issues in their country. Media is the key to removing citizens from the poorest of poverty and putting them into economic development. Press freedom of media is depriving democracy in the respective countries. Media plays a crucial role in shaping a healthy democracy. It is the backbone of a democracy. Media makes us aware of various social, political and economic activities happening around the world. It is like a mirror, which shows us or strives to show us the bare truth and harsh realities of life. And with considering all these fact it becomes very important for a government also to take some measure regarding this issue.


Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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