The Supreme Court Monday asked the central government to respond to a plea seeking the constitution of a “media tribunal” to hear and expeditiously rule on complaints against media organisations, Bar and Bench . The plea also asks that guidelines be issued outlining the broad regulatory framework within which media outlets can exercise their rights.
The petitioners, activists Nilesh Navalakha and Nitin Memane, allege that the information and broadcasting ministry “has totally failed in the discharge of its duties and enforcement of the Programme Code”. The petition adds that the “judicially unregulated media business is able to be used by politicians, police officers and other public officials who wish to put out propaganda to advance their own interests and influence public opinion”.
Their plea, the petitioners claim, is meant to “bring about some accountability for misinformation, inflammatory coverage, fake news, breach of privacy, etc which the media business has indulged in."