The Supreme Court upheld the right to free discussion about COVID-19, even as it directed the media to refer to and publish the official version of the developments in order to avoid inaccuracies and large-scale panic.
It ordered the government to start a daily bulletin on COVID-19 developments through all media avenues in the next 24 hours.
A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India, was responding to a request from the Central government that media outlets, in the “larger interest of justice”, should only publish or telecast anything on COVID-19 after ascertaining the factual position from the government.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said any panic reaction in the midst of an unprecedented situation based on such reporting would harm the entire nation. Creating panic is also a criminal offence under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Ministry said.
Source : The Hindu