National

Visited Manipur After Alert From Indian Army: Editors Guild Tells Supreme Court

The Editors Guild on Monday informed the Supreme Court that its members, who now face FIRs for their report on the coverage of the Manipur ethnic clashes by the vernacular media, had visited the state at the request of the Indian Army. 

Advertisement

Protest over Manipur violence Photo: PTI
info_icon

The Editors Guild on Monday informed the Supreme Court that its members, who now face FIRs for their report on the coverage of the Manipur ethnic clashes by the vernacular media, had visited the state at the request of the Indian Army. 

The top court extended protection from coercive action to four members of the Editors Guild of India (EGI) in connection with two FIRs lodged against them, and sought the view of the Manipur government on whether to transfer their plea for quashing the FIRs and other relief to the Delhi High Court for adjudication. The court also observed orally whether the publication of a subjective analysis by a group of journalists could be a ground for the registration of an FIR.

Advertisement

EGI went to Manipur on request of Army

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Shyam Divan, appearing for the  journalists’ body, told the court that the EGI members had undertaken the fact-finding study in pursuance of a letter written by the Army on July 12.

Arguing that the Editors Guild and its members cannot be prosecuted under the IPC for giving a report as asked by the army, Sibal said the EGI did not volunteer to go to Manipur and went there after the Army wrote to. It was the Army which wanted an objective assessment of the media coverage on the ground, he said. 

Advertisement

“We did not volunteer to go there. It is the Army which requested us. This is a very serious matter. Please see the letter of the Army to the Editors Guild. This is an invitation by the Army to the Editors Guild saying see what is happening there – unethical, ex-parte reporting by the vernacular media. It is at their invitation that we went," Sibal said.

Besides EGI president Seema Mustafa, those who have been booked are senior journalists Seema Guha, Bharat Bhushan and Sanjay Kapoor. They visited the state between August 7 and 10 to study media reporting on the ethnic violence. In its report published on September 2, the team flagged that "the media in Manipur was playing a partisan role in the ongoing ethnic conflict between the majority Meitei community and the Kuki-Chin minority" and said that Manipur media became "Meitei media" -- which drew criticism from Chief Minister N Biren Singh and police complaints as well.

The case has been posted for hearing on September 15. 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement