No further direction needed in matter involving media: HC bench

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Jan 2017 10:51:09


Legal Correspondent,

In the matter related to petitioner claiming relief before the court to direct the respondents President, Press Council of India to direct all electronic media and print media to restrain them to call terrorist to any prisoners till he has been declared/convicted by the competent court of law in the interest of justice, the division bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising of Acting Chief Justice, Rajendra Menon and Justice, Anjuli Palo has said that it sees no reason to give any further direction into the matter for causing an inquiry into the matter, as the inquiry has already been conducted under the Inquiry of Commission Act. Accordingly, with the aforesaid observations and directions, this petition stands disposed off.


The division bench heard the petition filed by Shamshul Hasan from Bhopal against the Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, New Delhi, President, Press Council Of India and President, Human Rights Commission, Bhopal. Petitioner, claiming to be a social worker, has filed this writ petition and has impleaded the Union of India, through Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, Mantralaya, New Delhi, the Press Council of India, through its President, New Delhi and the President, Human Rights Commission, Paryawas Bhawan, Bhopal and the relief claimed in the writ petition read as under that the court may kindly be pleased to issue appropriate writ and direct to the respondents President, Press Council of India to direct all electronic media and print media to restrain them from calling any prisoner a terrorist till he has been declared/convicted by the competent court of law in the interest of justice. This court may kindly call entire record. If the grievance of the petitioner is with regard to certain acts of the electronic and print media in addressing certain individuals in a particular manner, the petitioner may submit a detailed representation in this regard to the Press Council of India and it would be for the Press Council of India to look into the grievance of the petitioner with regard to the representation. Therefore, granting liberty to the petitioner to take up the issue as canvassed in this writ petition before the Press Council of India, this petition stands disposed off. However, office has placed on record various communications received by this court by relatives of persons, who are said to have been lodged in Central Jail, Bhopal after their arrest by the ATS and instances of harassment of these individuals are alleged in the communications made; and it is stated that the individuals are not being permitted to meet the inmates and by treating the inmates to be SIMI activists, they are being harassed and dwelt with in an illegal manner.


If that being so, Office may forward such communications to the State Human Rights Commission and it would be for the State Human Rights Commission to take note of the instances pertaining to harassment of the inmates in the jail in question.


That part, certain applications have been brought on record by the Office, which pertain to causing an independent inquiry into an encounter that took place in the district of Bhopal in which eight SIMI activists are said to have been killed. With regard to an independent inquiry into the matter, that issue has already been considered by a coordinate of this Court on December 22, 2016 in another writ petition no. 20370/2016 and by a writ Court in Writ petition, whereby the individuals grievance of a relative of a person who had died in the encounter was considered and this Court refused to interfere into the matter as a one man inquiry commission under Inquiry of Commission Act has already been appointed vide notification dated on November 7, 2016 and Justice S K Pande (Retd.) Commission is already conducting inquiry into the matter.