Human Rights and media

but to live with human dignity. .Human Rights • Human Rights are the rights we enjoy because we are human beings • Article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human right says ‚ All beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights • Man has not only a right to live.

They include • Newspapers and magazines • Radio • Television • Film • Internet medium .Media • Media are what we call as the fourth estate of democracy.

Constitutional status of media • Media represents ordinary citizens • Media persons do not enjoy extra constitutional provisions in India • Article 19 (1) (a) of Indian Constitution which guarantees ‘Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression’ to all its citizens is the basic right on which Indian media exists and depends • The constitution does not make a reference to freedom of press or media separately .

Reasonable restrictions on media Article 19(2) of Indian Constitution empowers the state to impose ‘reasonable restrictions’ on freedom of speech and expression on the following grounds • Sovereignty and Integrity of India • Security of the state • Friendly relations with foreign countries • Public order • Preserving decency and morality • Contempt of court and defamation or incitement to an offence .

THE Press is not immune from • The ordinary forms of taxation • The application of the general laws relating to industrial relations • The regulation of condition of service of the employees .

impose penalty on its right to choose the instruments for its exercising or to seek an alternative media • To impose specific tax upon the press deliberately calculated to limit its circulation .But it would not be legitimate for the State: • To subject the press to laws which take away or abridge the freedom of expression or would curtail circulation or would undermine its independence by driving it to seek Govt aid • To single out the press for laying upon its excessive and prohibitive burdens which would restrict the circulation.

the Punjab Special Power (press) Act 1956 came up before the Supreme Court in Virendra vs.• When the constitutionality of an enactment is specially directed against the press is challenged the court has to test it by the standard of substantive and procedural reasonableness • An enactment of this nature . State of Punjab .

necessity for making Order for specific purposes mentioned in Section .petitioners published criticisms and news concerning agitation which according to them are fair and legitimate petitioners are at liberty to publish all other matters and free to circulate papers in all other parts of territory of India . exercise of which is conditioned by positive requirement of satisfaction of authority .restrictions reasonably necessary in interest of public order – Section 2 confirmed power.Virendra v/s State of Punjab PETITIONER: VIRENDRA Vs. 1956 and Articles 19 (1).absence of safeguards in Section 3 makes provisions unreasonable – Apex Court allowed petition challenging Section 3 and dismissed petition challenging Section 2. RESPONDENT: THE STATE OF PUNJAB AND ANOTHER(and connected petition) DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/09/1957 Constitution – interest of general public .operative part of notification prevents petitioner from publishing any matter relating to ‘save Hindi agitation’ .Sections 2 and 3 of Punjab Special Powers (Press) Act.no time limit for operation of Order made under Section 3 .notifications under Section 2 (1) (a) prohibiting publishing of any material relating to ‘save Hindi agitation’ or those under Section 3 (1) imposing ban against entry and circulation of papers in State of Punjab published from New Delhi . 19 (2) and 19 (6) of Constitution of India .whether restrictions imposed by Sections 2 and 3 can be said to be reasonable restrictions within meaning of Articles 19 (2) and 19 (6) . .no provision made for any representation to State Government .cannot be characterised as unreasonable .effect of the exercise of which is to remain in operation for limited period only – which is liable to be modified or rescinded upon a representation being made .

Constitutional Amendments • In 1976 the Parliament enacted the Prevention of Objectionable Matter Act 1976 with rigorous provisions and in permanent form • In April 1977 . • Subsequently the position was further buttressed by inserting a new Article in the Constitution itself Article 361. the Janata Government repealed this act.A by the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act .1978 .

to pay monetary relief to the victims of Endosulfan • NHRC calls for Karnataka government’s report on the allegations of continuance of manual scavenging • NHRC calls for report on high fluoride level in drinking water in Jharkhand • Notice to Police commissioner of Pune for alleged police firing on agitating farmers .Recent examples of NHRC issuing notices on the basis of media reports • NHRC asks Kerala govt.

Cases where media persons show disrespect to Human Rights • • • • • Photographing without prior permission Naming the victims of rape Forgetting the fact that people have a right to privacy Defaming and not publishing rejoinders Giving unfair publicity at the cost of fair play .

• Report should not lead to more of HR violations .Role of media in protecting Human rights • Creating awareness about the concept and importance of HR • Media should place an important and ethical role at all levels and in all parts of the country and the world • Their aim should be to inform and not to sensationalize.

1908 . 1908 .Code Of Civil Procedure. • • • • • APPALANT: RESPONDANT: JUDGE: SUBJECT: Nirmaljit Singh Narula Yashwant Singh & Ors Mr. Constitution ACTS/ RULES: .Code Of Civil Procedure. 14/09/2012.Article 19 : . • • LOCATION : DECIDED ON: High court of Delhi.Constitution Of India .Article 19(2) .Article 19(1) (a) .Rule 2 .Constitution Of India .Case Studies CASE 1: Baba Nirmal V/s Yashwanth singh FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION ON A PUBLIC PLATFORM.Rule 1 . Justice Kailash Gambhir Civil .Constitution Of India .

Nirmaljit Singh Narula popularly known as 'Nirmal Baba' is a spiritual guide. The Defendants have authored and/ or published defamatory articles written by themselves and others along with defamatory comments posted by the third parties about the plaintiff on the Defendant’s website www. • The plaintiff started holding Holy Samagams (congregation) where the followers/devotees come to hear his spiritual discourses and seek his blessings. the plaintiff has lacks of followers in India and abroad. selfless prayer and devotion to one's duties.com in order to disparage and malign the reputation of the plaintiff. . The plaintiff teaches his followers to spiritually evolve their lives by believing in the ultimate powers of the religion they follow. renowned for his spiritual discourses. 21 lakh for the damages caused. PLEA: • To remove the defamatory articles and publications from the website.bhadas4media. The preaching emphasizes on the values of true. As per the Plaintiff. • A charge of Rs. • As per the plaintiff.BRIEF: • As per the Plaintiff.

.JUDGEMENT: • The court is of the considered view that it is a fit case for the grant of a conditional injunction. writing. • The defendants are accordingly restrained from licensing. and. confines his discourses to all such kind of teachings through which the life of common man can improve and improve in the right direction. hosting or advertising any defamatory material against the plaintiff on their website or through any other print/electronic media to defame the reputation of the plaintiff • Subject to the condition that the plaintiff also restrains himself in future from giving any kind of absurd or illogical solutions to his disciples and others. publishing.

JJ.Constitution of India .Section 5B . M. Media and communication . 22/07/1992. • • • • • APPALANT: RESPONDANT: JUDGE: SUBJECT: ACTS/ RULES: Union of India Cinemart Foundation A.Article 14 .Constitution of India .Article 21 . FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION ON A PUBLIC PLATFORM. Ahmadii and M.Article 19(1) . M.Constitution of India . • • LOCATION : DECIDED ON: Supreme court of India. Punchhi.Article 25 .Constitution of India .Article 226 . Constitution . 1952 .Cinematograph Act.Constitution of India .CASE 2: Union of India v/s Cinemart foundation.

• He. . filed the writ petition. challenging the refusal on the ground of violation of his fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and for a mandamus to Doordarshan to telecast the same. being the best non-feature film of 1987. Managing Trustee of the respondent trust. had produced a documentary film on the Bhopal Gas Disaster titled "Beyond Genocide". therefore. • The respondent represented to the Minister for Information & Broadcasting. • The respondent submitted for telecast his film to Doordarshan but Doordarshan refused to telecast the same on the ground : "the contents being outdated do not. being Civil Writ No. • This film was awarded the Golden Lotus. 212 of 1989. • It was also certified ‘U’ by the national censorship board. • The respondent contended that at the time of presentation of awards the Central Minister for Information & Broadcasting had made a declaration that the award winning short films will be telecast on Doordarshan.BRIEF: • Shri Tapari Bose. have relevance now for the telecast". but to no avail.

It lacks moderation and restraint.It has lost its relevance. .It is not fair and balanced.The grounds for refusal that can be culled out from the pleadings were : . . JUDGEMENT: • The learned Additional Solicitor General was not able to point out how it could be said that the film was not consistent with the accepted norms set out earlier. .Claims for compensation by victims are sub-judice. .The film is out-dated. • The appeals of the defendants fail and are dismissed with costs.Political parties have been raising various issues concerning the tragedy. . . Doordarshan being a State controlled agency funded by public funds could not have denied access to the screen to the respondent except on valid grounds.

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