Is a statutory mechanism in place for (TV news) broadcasters?” asked the HC. “Just like the Indian Press Council exists for the print media, why don't you (the government of the Union) think of a similar electronic media council? Why should they have an open hand?” said Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni on the bench.
On Monday, the Bombay high court asked the Union government why there should not be a regulatory body governing the content transmitted through television news channels, a poser coming in the background of the frenzied media coverage of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
A bunch of public interest litigation (PILs) were heard by the bench seeking to guide the press, particularly TV news channels, to exercise restraint in their report on the death of Rajput (34) and the associated probe by multiple agencies.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, who appeared for the Union government, told the court that news channels “did not have an open hand as such; the government cannot control everything. The press has the freedom and its rights,” he said.