“Judiciary’s Role Is Primarily To Test Legality Of Law”: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court on Saturday said that the role of the judiciary is primarily only to test the legality of a statute and not to amend or modify a statute while dismissing a petition seeking direction to constitute a Regulatory Authority or censor board to censor or review the non-film songs.
“The role of the judiciary is primarily only to test the legality of a statute and not to amend/modify a statute. Setting up of tribunals, authorities, regulators come purely within the domain of the legislature and not in the domain of Courts” stated the Delhi High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chander Sharma.

The court observation came in an order, passed in a petition seeking direction to the Central Government to constitute a Regulatory Authority/censor board to censor/review the non-film songs, their lyrics and videos which are made available to the general public through various media platforms like Television, YouTube, etc. and make it mandatory for composers of non-film songs to receive certification before such songs are made available in the public domain.

The court while dismissing the plea on January 24 said, as far as television is concerned, the Cinematograph Act, 1952, and the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, addresses the issue regarding the regulation of content that is being telecasted on these platforms. The contention of the Petitioner that there is no regulatory authority is incorrect.

“Directing for the appointment of a regulatory authority would result in legislation by this Court which is not permissible. The concept of separation of powers between the legislature, judiciary and the executive has been laid down in various judgments by the Apex Court. Courts cannot mandate a statute or add provisions to a Statute as it would amount to legislation which is not permissible in the constitutional scheme of this country,” said the Court.

The Apex Court in a Judgment has held that Courts do not possess the power to set up an adjudicatory committee or a tribunal by way of issuing a writ of mandamus, added Delhi High Court.

Petitioner Neha Kapoor, practicing advocate through plea also sought a direction to the respondent to constitute a body to screen every non-film song and its contents, including lyrics and video, before they are released on the internet through any platform/application and to ban all such non-film songs available on the internet having obscene/vulgar content with immediate effect, the court noted.

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