New Delhi, Dec 04, 2021, Live Law
Challenging the FIRs registered by the Tripura police over the reports on communal violence in the State, the media company Theos Connect (which operates the digital news portal HW News Network), and two of its journalists Samridhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha and its Associate Editor Arti Ghargi have approached the Supreme Court.
The Court on Friday accepted the request made by Advocate Sandeep S Deshmekh for urgent listing of the petition. A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud will consider the matter on December 8, 2021
Tripura police registered the FIR alleging that the reports of the journalists promoted enmity between groups and spread communal hatred by publishing baseless news about communal violence. The petitioners challenge the police action by saying that they were doing only ground reporting of facts based on versions given by the victims of the violence.
"The petition has been filed in relation to the targeted abuse of criminalizing the reporting by petitioners and its correspondents/ reporters and illegal detention in relation to, reporting of events regarding violence qua minorities in the State of Tripura during the second half of the month of October 2021, the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution reads. The petitioners argue that the FIRs amount to "targeted harassment of press”.
The petitioners have sought the following reliefs: 1) Quashing FIR registered at Tripura under sections 120B, 153A, 504 of IPC qua petitioners 2) Quashing FIR 82 under sections 153A, 153B, 193, 204, 120B, 504 IPC 3) Alternatively seeking transfer of FIRs to the competent court in Delhi as there is an apparent risk and threat to life of petitioners in Tripura.