Supreme Court slams Centre on Tablighi affidavit

The Supreme Court has reprimanded the Center for not filing a concrete affidavit during the hearing on a petition related to tarnishing the image of Tabligi Jamaat.

Chief Justice SA Bobde said that freedom of expression is the most misused right in recent times.

The Supreme Court expressed displeasure with the Center for filing the affidavit through a junior officer.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said that you cannot deal with the court in this way.  The junior officer has filed an affidavit.  This is a break, the affidavit has not responded to the allegations made by the petitioners on some TV channels, which are spreading hatred.  He said that while giving instructions to file a new affidavit, it should not contain unnecessary rubbish.  The case will be heard again after two weeks.  In the last hearing, the Supreme Court had told the Center not to let people incite law and order issues.  These are things that later become an issue of law and order.

Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind had filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that media was spreading communal hatred over Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of Covid-19 pandemic.

The central government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that it cannot stop the media from reporting on the issue of Jamaat.  The Center stated the freedom of the press.

Most reports about Markaz were not inaccurate.  The Center advised to refer the matter to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA).

The court said that after hearing the report of NBA and Press Council, further hearing will be held.

The court was told by the NBA that it had received around 100 complaints.  According to PCI, 50 complaints received by it are being considered.

The court gave 2 weeks to the Center, Press Council of India to answer what action they have taken.

By Priya Kumari