Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Gujarat Magistrate Court not to proceed against the journalist of a web portal till April 12, in connection with the Jay Shah defamation case.
The web portal scribe had approached the apex court, after the Gujarat High Court had dismissed his plea, refusing to quash the case against the journalists. The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice (CJI) Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, observed during the hearing that the Press should be more responsible before publishing anything.
The top court of the country also issued notice to the respondents after hearing the petition filed by the journalist, challenging the Gujarat High Court judgement, which had refused to quash the initiation of criminal defamation proceedings against the journo.
“Irresponsible reporting is not the journalistic culture. There should be a basis. The electronic media needs to be more responsible, while publishing a story or anything,” the apex court bench observed.
Neeraj Kishan Kaul, lawyer appearing for Jay Shah son of BJP president Amit Shah,, submitted to the SC that freedom of speech for journalists did not give them a licence to selectively quote figures, and to target a person because he was related to a political figure.
Kapil Sibal, senior lawyer appearing for the journalist, told the apex court that a journalist’s duty was to ask questions and they “can’t stop them from performing their duty”.