Noting that it “fully” understands freedom of speech, Delhi’s High Court on Tuesday said the media should regulate itself and bring criticism that it is fair and just, while expressing its dissatisfaction with a newspaper article criticizing a vlogger dragging his child into this.
A bench led by Judge Siddharth Mridul threw no punches as he expressed his displeasure with the newspaper referencing the social media vlogger’s child, insisting that children should not be victims of propaganda.
“You can say what you want about him. But don’t visit his family and say that his child is most likely going to be mentally ill… The fact is, we’re completely unhappy with any reference to that child.” , he added. remarked the bench, also including Judge Amit Sharma. “We fully understand freedom of expression. But it’s self-regulation and we don’t say it. A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, when dealing with how to regulate the media, said self-regulation. yourself and self-regulatory standards must be such that they are acceptable,” the court said. The court emphasized that one should criticize the action and not the person.
“Please discuss it but don’t visit the children. Of course, if you find his comments distasteful, go ahead and speak up, but don’t go any further than that,” noted the bench.
Making an analogy, Justice Mridul said that whenever an order is issued by a court, the criticism should be directed at the order and not at the judges. “We are aware, we don’t know, that we (judges) are talked about a lot and it’s not just about us. We don’t appreciate that… You criticize the order. You don’t criticize us. It’s fair and just criticism,” he said. The court was hearing an appeal by the newspaper challenging an order by a single judge ordering it to remove the allegedly objectionable article. The newspaper’s lawyer said the vlogger was a ‘public figure’ whose ‘livelihood depended on posting videos of him and his family on the internet’, and the article cites the criticism he received many others for his conduct. The court noted that the article called the vlogger a “misogynist” and a “child molester,” and asked the caller to approach the single judge with all of the recordings. “We were a bit disturbed that you referred to someone’s child. The child should not be the victim of any propaganda. We cannot accept that. Say what you want about the child. man. Criticize his actions and speech, but don’t “I don’t visit his children with such remarks. It’s troubling. It was very offensive to us,” the court said emphatically. “Do not visit the children. They did nothing. Do not visit family or children, do not do this. This is something that, in an appropriate case, will have to be determined,” he added.
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