Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a Muslim body, on Monday filed a plea in the Supreme Court urging it to urgently hear its petition seeking action against media reports indulging in communal branding of COVID-19 pandemic in the light of 2020 Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area. (Photo - ANI)
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a Muslim body, on Monday filed a plea in the Supreme Court urging it to urgently hear its petition seeking action against media reports indulging in communal branding of COVID-19 pandemic in the light of 2020 Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area.
The body sought an urgent hearing of its plea in the backdrop of upcoming assembly polls in five states saying the dissemination of fake news and hate speech poses a grave danger to the lives and liberties of a large section of citizens.
The PIL was last listed on September 2 last year and since then it has not come up for hearing, stated the application for early hearing.
"The present matter has assumed particular importance because elections to the Legislative Assemblies of five states are being conducted presently. The dissemination of hate speech during electoral campaigns poses a grave threat to the peace and harmony in the country. The Applicants/Petitioners humbly submit that this court needs to give specific directions to control the dissemination of fake news and hate speeches and the matter needs to be heard urgently," stated the plea.
The PILs filed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Peace Party had alleged discriminatory coverage by a section of the media and spreading communal hatred over the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
The top court had earlier observed that a section of media gives communal colour to news bringing a bad name to the country.
It had also pulled up the Central government for doing nothing to curb TV programs that are instigating or impacting a community.
The apex court had observed that control over TV programs that are instigating in nature is as important as some preventive measure, and emphasised fair and truthful reporting.
It had also observed that freedom of speech is one of the most abused freedom in recent times and had asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to file an affidavit detailing steps it had taken to stop broadcasts in TV channels that are targeting the Muslim community after Tablighi Jamaat incident.
In 2020, as per the media reports, at least 9,000 people had participated in the religious gathering at Tablighi Jamaat's headquarters in Nizamuddin West.
The congregation had allegedly become a key source for the spread of COVID-19 in India as many of the participants had travelled to various parts of the country for missionary works.
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