Don't misinterpret or misquote court orders, it may spread panic: Karnataka High Court to media

The state government had submitted that the media had misreported its comments in a previous hearing.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Karnataka High Court today urged local television news channels and news websites to be "very careful" while reporting on court and government orders, to make sure they aren't "misinterpreted or misquoted".

Bar and Bench said the comments came up in the context of a state government submission that a previous hearing had been misinterpreted by the media.

In the previous hearing, on its preparedness for the Covid-19 outbreak, the state government had mentioned "the kind of infrastructure that would be required for dealing with 10,000 Covid-19 patients". However, the local media reported that Karnataka expects 10,000 more Covid-19 cases by the end of April, Bar and Bench reports.

Given this misreporting, the division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice BV Nagarathna said:

"We are dealing with various sensitive issues concerning Covid-19. We make it clear that while reporting our orders, the media and in particular, the electronic media has to be very careful. The media must ensure that no part of the stand taken by the state government or no part of the orders passed by this court should be misinterpreted or misquoted. The electronic media must note that if there is no accurate reporting of the proceedings before the court, the stand of the state government and other agencies before the court and the orders passed by this court, it may create confusion amongst the citizens and may spread panic."

The Kannada media has already been in the spotlight for using the pandemic to peddle bigotry against the Muslim community. It also has a reputation for misreporting.

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