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Supreme Court of India asks for Centre's response in plea seeking restriction on press freedom

New Delhi: The Supreme Court India on Friday issued a notice to the Central government seeking a reply on a petition asking directions to define the parameters of freedom of press so as to"restrict assassination of dignity" of individuals, communities, religious saints, religious and political organisations by elctronic media channels. 

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde sought a reply to the notice within four weeks. The petition sought appropriate order directing the respondent, Union of India, to prevent the misuse of airwaves by the broadcasting electronic channels in the name of press freedom.

The petition sought intervention by the Supreme Court to control the "uncontrolled and unregulated" broadcasting electronic channels, who are involved in such kind of alleged activities. Reporting intended to hurt the sentiments of saints, religious and political organizations in the name of freedom of press should be prohibited, the petition demanded. The plea sought the issuance of appropriate order directing the Central government to restrict the media trial, parallel trial, judgmental views and interfering in the administration of justice.

The petition stated that the apex court should direct the government to set up an independent body called the Broadcasting Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) to monitor the news broadcast.

"The top court should issue appropriate order directing the Central government to constitute an independent authority to be known as the Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) for the purpose of regulating and facilitating the development of broadcasting services in India," the plea said.

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