Fake-news matter will be heard by new bench, says Delhi HC after adjourning hearing

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On Friday, the High Court of Delhi adjourned the hearing on a plea seeking to frame the necessary guidelines & to constitute a committee for handling fake-news on various social handles & said that the matter will be heard by a new bench.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel & Justice Jasmeet Singh said that a new bench will be designated for hearing the pleas.

The Court was hearing two petitions filed by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa & Manjit Singh GK.

Earlier the Delhi HC issued notice to a leading media organisation, News Broadcasters Association, Press Council of India & Union of India on a petition seeking direction to restrain the fake-news by setting the accountability & responsibility of the concerned authorities, to frame the necessary guidelines & to constitute a committee for handling the fake-news on various social handles.

The petition was filed by Manjit Singh GK through advocate Parminder Singh Goindi challenging the vicious, unmitigated, concocted & reprehensible actions of certain media houses, claimed that certain media houses had unleashed an offensive & potentially fatal communal attack on the Sikh community by continuous circulation & constant transmission of unverified videos through different platforms including their respective news channels, YouTube, & other such digital & online platforms, pursuant to the events that unfolded New Delhi on the 72nd Republic Day on Jan 26.

The plea said that “Such vicious campaign directed against a particular community especially at a time when public sentiments are flared up could result in disastrous consequences for the community including endangering the lives, property & liberty of people belonging to the Sikh community”.

The plea also sought direction in the nature of mandamus for organising press-conference or uploading/ circulating/ broadcasting the authentic news on the official website of the concerned authorities/ department to counter fake news.

It also sought to issue a direction to restrain the respondent media house from circulating, transmitting & showcasing videos or news content that is directed towards vilifying a particular community & inciting hatred.

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