The Supreme Court has suspended further proceedings in a new case brought in West Bengal against a number of people, including editors of a news web portal, in connection with articles published by them.
The court also made the protections granted in an interim injunction last year to Nupur J Sharma, the editor of English-language Opindia.com, and others, including its founder and CEO, as absolute.
A bench of judges Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh, who dealt with the new FIR, said: “Further proceedings under FIR No…registered at Bhadreswar Police Station will be postponed.”
It said interim orders passed on June 26, 2020 in the main petition filed last year will be made absolute and set for the next hearing in November.
“Interim injunctions are made absolutely. Freedom for petitioners to submit additional documents. The parties to submit a brief summary not exceeding two pages each. List on a non-diverse Tuesday in the month of November 2021, the bank said in its order was passed on Sept. 3.
On 26 June last year, the highest court had suspended further proceedings in three FIRs filed against petitioners in West Bengal.
In their request for intervention, Nupur J Sharma and others said they have been forced to move the highest court due to “ongoing hunting” and “victimization” by the government of West Bengal, “which in its attempt to sink inconvenient media reports has multiple FIRs.” registered against them”.
The application further said: “That the June 26, 2020 injunction was a reprieve for the petitioners whose honour, life and liberty have been repeatedly undermined by the state…”
However, it appears that the respondents are making unremitting efforts to prosecute the applicants/applicants as the applicants/applicants recently received a notice registered under Section 41A of the CrPC of CID, West Bengal regarding FIR on August 5th. at Bhadreshwar Police Station,” it reads.
It said the FIR covers media reports published on opindia.com about the May 2020 municipal riots of Telenipara and were simultaneously recorded around the same time as FIRs, which is the subject of the subpoena.
The petitioners said the FIR only became aware of it after receiving the notice under Section 41CrPC on August 5, asking them to appear before the Investigating Officer on August 13, but later the Investigating Officer requested via email from August 12, submitter to appear on August 23.
They asked for a postponement of the investigation which came from the FIR registered at the Bhadreshwar Police Station and the notice given to them before appearing before the investigating officer.
The petitioners have also requested the destruction of the FIR.
On June 26 last year, while remaining the three FIRs, the Supreme Court had issued notices to the government of West Bengal and the Center asking for their response to the plea.
The main petition filed by Nupur Sharma and others, including the founder and CEO of the news portal and the editor of the Hindi-language publications, alleged that the West Bengal government and its “Authoritarian Police of Kolkata” are abusing FIRs and “brutal police powers”. to intimidate journalists.
“The petitioners have been forced to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 32 of the Constitution against the apparent extortionate and rogue actions of the Government of West Bengal to impose illegal censorship in the state by honest media threaten, sink and silence homes through the misuse of state police,” the plea said.
The petitioners claimed to have been informed that the cause of one of the FIRs filed by the police was an article published by the news web portal about the alleged concealment of data related to COVID-19.
The plea alleged that one of the filed FIRs related to a news story published by the web portal in October last year.
It claimed that in order to undermine press freedom, the state has previously chosen to “hunt” the petitioners by registering multiple FIRs to “negotiate the removal of news articles by risking the petitioner’s life and freedom.” to make”.
It claimed that the state and the police are not only intimidating the journalists, but also threatening to remove their relatives from media reports highlighting “the actual state of affairs in the state of West Bengal in these difficult times”.
It also alleged that the police had intimidated some of the petitioners into having the news articles removed.
“Therefore, while insulting and humiliating Petitioner No. 1, the officers asked her to use her influence to remove the articles or to face the burden of the political leaders of the state,” it claimed.
The plea argued that removing content from the Internet has a nationwide effect and that any decision to remove content should be made by the Center and not state governments.
It has also sought a direction to exclude the role of the police in removing content from the Internet “particularly as there is a regulatory mechanism for monitoring such content” and to limit naughty content.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)