Digital media 'completely uncontrolled', guidelines necessary: Govt to SC

“In case this court desires to travel into the wider issues, it is absolutely inevitable to start with digital media,” said the affidavit.

In the Sudarshan News controversy, the Centre has reiterated that there is no need for the Supreme Court to embark on an exercise to lay down guidelines for print and electronic media in the backdrop of the existing codes and their self-regulatory mechanism, instead it should begin the exercise on issues in the context of digital media.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said in an affidavit that if the apex court considers it necessary to lay down the guidelines for electronic and print media, which is not required, the court should begin the exercise first with digital media.

The Centre told the apex court that digital media is "completely uncontrolled".

The affidavit said: "There is absolutely no check on web-based digital media. Apart from spreading venomous hatred to not only cause violence, but even terrorism, it is also capable of indulging in tarnishing the image of institutions and individuals. The said practice is, in fact, rampant."

The government's response has come on a query put up by the apex court on the need to regulate electronic media, following the Sudarshan News controversy, where the top court had stayed the broadcast of five episodes its programme titled "UPSC Jihad".

"In case this court desires to travel into the wider issues, it is absolutely inevitable to start with digital media," said the affidavit.

The Centre said that it is in the interest of justice that either this court may leave wider issues to be considered and decided by the Central government and the competent legislature or start with the exercise with an examination of the very same issues in the context of digital media.

"By its very nature, the web-based digital media, by and large, remains unregulated", said the affidavit.

The affidavit further contended that the broadcaster and publisher, when they have come to know that they are under the radar for certain content, may start using digital media to publish the same thing, as it has no regulations.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel