No right to criticize

IN Media Watch Briefs | 06/08/2017

An additional district judge in Delhi ruled last week that the press does not have any exclusive right or special privilege to comment, "criticise or make imputations or allegations which are sufficient to ruin a citizen’s reputation".   PTI reports  that the court’s order came as it restrained the managing editor of a magazine from publishing any libelous articles against a man who has alleged that he was defamed. It also directed the magazine editor and another person to pay Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively to the man as “symbolic damages”.  Since PTI never names media outlets in its stories, we do not know which magazine this is.                                  

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D Sunitha, an ASP in the Telangana Police, filed complaints with the NBSA against character assassination by some Telugu TV channels. NBSA has announced an agreement  arrived at with HMTV whereby the channel will broadcast an agreed upon apology statement three times a day on three days starting today.The complaint was against ETV, Sakshi and HMTV, the NBSA has reserved its order in other two cases. TV9 was as much of an offender, but it is not a member if the NBSA.                   

The Supreme Court   asked   whether the government is trying to create a surveillance state while hearing a petition filed by Trinamool Congress MLA Mahua Moitra on the tender for a Social Media Communication Hub. But in Kashmir, admins of Whatsapp groups have been directed to register themselves with the district administration since 2016! Last week, in Kishtwar, 21 groups have been issued notices for failing to do so.                          

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