On 6th April, 2020
, the Apex Court has been moved and the petitioners herein being Jamait Ulama I-Hind, an organisation consisting of Islamic scholars have sought for strict action against the media. This relates to the media communalising the Tablighi Jamaat meeting that took place in the Delhi's Nizamuuddin area.
The plea has stated that certain sections of the media have been intentionally using "Communal Headlines"
and "Biomgoted Statements"
to cause a demonization and put forth the blame on the entirety of Muslim community for having deliberately spread the coronavirus across the country. This has threatened the livelihood of Muslims. The plea states, "The present petition is necessitated on account of the communal colour being given to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic by certain sections of print, electronic and social media posing a threat to the life and liberty of Muslims infringing their fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution. The demonization is also an infringement of the right to live with dignity which is also covered under Article 21 of the Constitution."
It also states, "Actions of certain sections of the media are also against the letter and the spirit of the code of ethics and broadcasting standards issued by the New Broadcasters Association, which is the regulatory body for new channel. Under the code, ensuring neutrality and objectivity in reporting is one of the foremost principles of media regulation"
Such reporting has instigated communal antagonism and has also managed to perpetrate hatred at such a time. The petition has been filed by Advocate Ejaz Maqbool who has stressed the government i.e the Minsitry of Information and Broadcasting
has failed to give adequate protection to the Muslims under Article 14 of the Constitution. It further allowed the media to present statements that are utmost prejudicial to the entire community of Muslims. The media has also violated all the norms of Journalistic conduct and the reporting is a clear violation of Rule 6
of the Cable Television Network Rules of 1994
that prohibits any program which contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups.