Andhra-Based News Channel Files Contempt Plea Against Andhra Govt. For Violating SC Order On Coverage Of COVID-19 Pandemic

first_imgTop StoriesAndhra-Based News Channel Files Contempt Plea Against Andhra Govt. For Violating SC Order On Coverage Of COVID-19 Pandemic Radhika Roy18 May 2021 7:57 AMShare This – xAndhra-based news channel, TV5, has filed a contempt of court plea against State of Andhra Pradesh, stating that the registration of FIR against media channels amounts to a brazen violation of directions of the Supreme Court in its April 30 order passed in the Suo Moto COVID crisis matter. The contempt plea has been filed in the wake of the FIR that was registered against YSR Congress sitting MP K. Raghu Rama Krishna Raju for sedition over his allegedly offensive against the State Government as well as against two TV news channels, TV5 and ABN Andhrajyothi, who had hosted the MP. Both the TV news channels have moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR registered against them by the Andhra Pradesh Police on the charges of sedition and submitting that the registration of the same amounts to a chilling effect on the media. In the April 30th Order, the Supreme Court had directed Central and State Governments to cease any direct or indirect threats of prosecution and arrest to citizens who aired their grievances on media platforms or those who were attempting to help their fellow citizens receive medical aid. Further, the Order noted that any repetition of such an act would constrain the Court to use the powers available to it under contempt jurisdiction. The contempt plea states that it is the last resort available to the media platforms to protect the right to freedom of speech so that they can “fearlessly perform their public duty as impartial disseminators of news and true events surrounding the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic”. Stating that in wake of reports bringing light to the mismanagement on the part of the State not being taken in the right spirit by certain governments and attempts being made to curb voices raising concerns, the Supreme Court had passed the April 30 order to prevent the same. However, the plea contends, despite the Apex Court order, the FIR under Sections 124A, 153A, 505 read with 120B of the Indian Penal Code, was registered. “It is submitted that the attempt of the FIR is to create a chilling effect for news channels in the state so that every news channel is wary of hosting any content which is critical of the government. By filing a vague FIR and abusing the process of law, the state intends to silence its critiques and the media, which is discharging its duty”. The plea goes on to submit that the Contemnor, i.e. the State Government, I “hell bent to suppress the right to freedom of speech by obstructing the media coverage on the management of COVID-19 in the State. While the State is witnessing record number of COVID-19 cases, the focus of the government is to mask the reality and to spread false propagandas”. It is further averred that the conduct of the Contemnors reflects their “plain disregard and disdain to the justice delivery system and they seem to be under the impression that they can easily overreach this Hon’ble Court by ignoring the implementation of this Hon’ble Court’s directions”. In light of the above, the contempt plea has been filed seeking contempt action to be initiated against the State of Andhra Pradesh. TagsCOVID-19 Pandemic Contempt Andhra Govt Supreme Court TV5 Raghu Rama Krishna Raju Next Storylast_img read more