The Supreme Court has stayed additional proceedings in a contemporary case filed in West Bengal in opposition to some folks, together with editors of a information net portal, in reference to articles printed by them.
The court docket additionally made the safety granted in an interim order of final 12 months to Nupur J Sharma, the editor of English language Opindia.com, and others together with its founder and CEO, as absolute.
A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh, whereas coping with the contemporary FIR mentioned, “Further proceedings in pursuance of FIR No…registered at Bhadreswar Police Station shall remain stayed.”
It mentioned that interim orders handed on June 26, 2020 in the principle writ petition filed final 12 months are made absolute and posted the following listening to in November.
“Interim orders are made absolute. Liberty to the petitioners to file additional documents. The parties to file short synopsis running into not more than two pages each. List on a non-miscellaneous Tuesday in the month of November 2021,” the bench mentioned in its order handed on September 3.
On June 26 final 12 months, the highest court docket had stayed additional proceedings in three FIRs lodged in West Bengal in opposition to petitioners.
In their intervention software, Nupur J Sharma and others mentioned that they’re constrained to maneuver the highest court docket as a result of “persistent hounding” and “victimisation” by the West Bengal authorities, “who in its endeavour to scuttle inconvenient media reports registered multiple FIRs against them”.
The software additional mentioned, “That the order dated June 26, 2020 came as a respite to the petitioners whose honour, life and liberty were sought to be repeatedly undermined by the state…”
However, “it appears that the respondents are unrelenting in the efforts to persecute the petitioners/applicants as the petitioners/applicants have recently on August 5, been served with a notice under section 41A of the CrPC from CID, West Bengal in relation to FIR registered with Bhadreshwar police station”, it mentioned.
It mentioned that the FIR pertains to media stories printed in opindia.com about Telenipara communal riots of May 2020 and had been registered contemporaneously across the identical time as FIRs, which varieties the subject material of the writ petition.
The petitioners mentioned that the FIR got here to their discover solely on the receipt of the discover beneath part 41CrPC on August 5 requiring them to seem earlier than the investigating officer on August 13 however later the investigating officer by an e mail dated August 12 requested the petitioner to seem on August 23.
They sought a keep on the investigation emanating from the FIR registered at Bhadreshwar police station and the discover issued to them for showing earlier than investigating officer.
The petitioners additionally sought quashing of the FIR.
On June 26 final 12 months, the Supreme Court had, whereas staying the three FIRs, issued notices to the West Bengal authorities and the Centre in search of their replies on the plea.
The predominant writ petition filed by Nupur Sharma and others together with the founder and CEO of the information portal and editor of its Hindi language publications claimed that the West Bengal authorities and its “authoritarian Kolkata Police” are misusing FIRs and “brute police powers” to intimidate journalists.
“The petitioners are constrained to invoke the extraordinary writ jurisdiction of this court under Article 32 of the Constitution against the patently extortionist and mala fide actions of the Government of West Bengal to impose illegal censorship in the state by threatening, scuttling, and gagging honest media houses through misuse of state police,” the plea has claimed.
The petitioners claimed they had been knowledgeable that the reason for one of many FIRs lodged by police was an article printed by the information net portal on the problem of alleged hiding of knowledge associated to COVID-19.
The plea claimed that one of many FIRs lodged pertained to a information report printed by the net portal in October final 12 months.
It alleged that to undermine the liberty of press, the state has quite chosen to “hound down” the petitioners by registering a number of FIRs with a view to “bargain for deletion of news articles by putting the petitioner’s life and liberty at bait”.
It claimed the state and the police aren’t solely intimidating the journalists but in addition threatening their relations to hunt deletion of media stories which convey to the general public discover “the actual state of affairs in the state of West Bengal during these difficult times”.
It additionally alleged that the police had intimidated a number of the petitioners to get the information articles deleted.
“Accordingly, the officers while insulting and demeaning the petitioner no. 1, asked her to use her influence to get the articles removed or to face the brunt of state’s political executives,” it has claimed.
The plea claimed that deleting any content material from the web has a nationwide impact and any resolution to delete any content material needs to be left to be taken by the Centre and never by state governments.
It has additionally sought a path to exclude the function of police within the matter of deletion of content material on the web “particularly since there exists a regulatory mechanism for overseeing such content” and limiting any mischievous contents.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)