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SC for protecting journalists against sedition unless reports incite violence
SC for protecting journalists against sedition unless reports incite violence

New Delhi, June 3 (TIWN) The Supreme Court on Friday said every journalist should be granted protection against prosecution under penal provisions of sedition, barring when his/her news report either incited violence or disturbed public peace.

In a 117-page judgment, a bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Vineet Saran relied upon decision in Kedar Nath Singh versus State of Bihar (1962), which upheld validity of sedition provision but with riders, to quash an FIR against senior journalist Vinod Dua registered on May 6, last year by Shimla police.  Dua was represented by senior advocate Vikash Singh along with advocates Varun Singh and Nitin Saluja.  Holding that every journalist will be entitled to protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh case, the bench observed that a citizen has a right to say or write whatever he likes about the government, or its measures, by way of criticism or comment, so long as he does not incite people to violence against the government established by law or with the intention of creating public disorder.  Citing the contents of the FIR lodged by a local BJP leader, the bench said statements that the Prime Minister had used deaths and terror attacks to garner votes were not made by Dua in the talk Show. Also, on the content of Dua’s show on lockdown 2020, the bench noted: “The situation was definitely alarming around March 30, 2020, and as a journalist, if the petitioner showed some concern, could it be said that he committed offences as alleged?”

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