There is a disguised attempt to curtail independence and freedom of media: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court stated that there is an attack on media which will not entertained.

Published: 10th March 2017 02:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2017 12:34 AM   |  A+A-

File Photo of the Supreme Court premises. | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL seeking an SIT probe into the role of media in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case, saying it is an "attack" on media's independence.

"We will not direct any investigation against the media unless there is a direct involvement," a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said, while rejecting the PIL filed by veteran journalist Hari Jaisingh. It seems there is a disguised attempt to curtail independence and freedom of media, the bench said, adding "this is an attack on media. We will not entertain this."

"We cannot curtail the right of the media in this manner. Media has been given an independent status in our democratic polity. Why should we entertain this," said the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Mohan M Shantanagoudar.

The court, however, clarified that if the investigative agencies come across evidence with regard to involvement of certain individuals then they are free to probe.

However, there cannot be an investigation into the role of media as a whole, it said.     Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for Singh, alleged that some members of the media where bribed by the offshore chopper firm to influence the decision making authority in favour of the VVIP helicopter deal.

"I am seeking a direction to the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to also investigate the role of media persons in the case," she said.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, sought dimissal of the plea at the threshold saying how can there be an investigation into the role of media when there is an allegation that two persons entered into the "media management agreement".

Considering the arguments, the bench asked, "Is this agreement registered. What is the admissibility of the agreement as evidence."

"Freedom of media is going to be curtailed and smothered.... We will not entertain this."     The journalist in his PIL alleged that some media persons were bribed and extended unwarranted benefits in exchange for favouring the VVIP chopper deal.     It was also alleged that certain journalist were sent to Italy along with their families by the company in question.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL2018