Home » SC grants interim protection to 4 EGI members; next hearing on Monday

SC grants interim protection to 4 EGI members; next hearing on Monday

by Jeet Akoijam
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IT News/ Agency
Imphal, Sept 6:

The Supreme Court of India has granted interim protection to four members of the Editors Guild of India from the FIRs registered by the Manipur police over a fact-finding report published by them in relation to the ethnic violence in the northeastern state.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra passed the order today while issuing notice to the State of Manipur on the writ petition filed by the EGI members. The matter will be heard next Monday.
The already burnt Manipur was fuelled with anger with the 24 pages fact finding report published by the three-member team of the EGI, prompting two citizens of the country to filed complaints against them. One filed a complaint at Imphal East Police station, while the other was filed at Imphal West Police station by two individuals. Fearing legal course of action, the EGI filed a writ petition for their protection from the legal course of action at the Supreme Court of India.
Although the petition was not listed today, CJI Chandrachud agreed to take up the matter after it was mentioned by Senior Advocate Shyam Divan for urgent hearing. Divan said that two FIRs have been registered against the members of the fact-finding team alleging that their report “promoted enmity”.
The bench was initially inclined to dispose of the writ petition by granting a limited protection so that the petitioners can approach the High Court. However, Divan said that none other than the Chief Minister himself made allegations against the EGI in a press conference and went to the extent of saying that “EGI has stoked provocative statements”. He highlighted that the Chief Minister’s statement was an additional aspect which should be considered by the Court.
Following this, the bench agreed to issue notice on the petition and grant interim protection.
Earlier this morning, Divan had requested the bench to hear the matter urgently because the senior journalists involved in the case were apprehending arrest. He said–
“We are here seeking emergent directions under Article 32 and I will show how. Editor’s guild of India appointed a fact finding committee. They went to Manipur and made a report and concluded that local news reports were biased.”
The Guild’s 24-page findings were released on September 2. The fact-finding team was sent to Manipur to examine the media reportage in the state from August 7 to 10. The FIRs are based on complaints describing the report as “false, fabricated and sponsored”.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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