24 April, 2020
ARTICLE 19(1)(a),32 of CONSTITUTION, SECTION 153, 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 500, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code 1860
Petitioner works in Rupublic TV as an Editor-in-chief and he has submitted that multiple FIRs has been lodged against him with identical cause of action. All the complaints arise from the programme that aired on Republic TV on April 21st 2020. Complaints have arisen in many States and so, jurisdiction of Article 32 has been brought into question.
Is Freedom of press in India is limited
Can Journalists can speak without a threat of punishment
The court observed that, To allow a journalist to be subject of multiple complaints will destroy the freedom of the citizen to know the affairs of government in the nation.The court further observed that right of journalist under Article 19(1)(a) is same as every citizen's right to speech and expression. It said that free citizens cannot exist when the news media is chained to adhere to one position. The court gives reference of T T Antony v State of Kerala case, it was held that an individual to numerous proceedings arising in different jurisdictions on the basis of the same cause of action cannot be accepted as effective method of achieving the legitimate state aim in prosecuting crime.
The court held that maintained stay of proceedings with respect to other FIRs and complaints regarding same incident. The petitioner is allowed to move an application within 3 weeks for anticipatory bail or any other remedies according to law in place.
Article 226 (Judicial Review)
Sections 394, 460 and 302 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860