On Centre’s request, SC directs media to publish COVID-19 developments ascertained by Govt
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic crisis shadowing over the country, the Supreme Court has directed the media to report on coronavirus based on the facts and information approved by the Central government. This step has been taken to prevent dissemination of fake news on the pandemic that can lead to confusion and panic among the citizens.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said that the apex court expects the media outlets will not print, publish or telecast unverified news that is capable to causing panic, and will ensure a strong sense of responsibility in reporting. The media has been further directed to provide a daily bulletin to clear doubts of the people related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The direction came by the Supreme Court during a hearing on a petition seeking the Centre’s attention in protecting the migrant workers across the country in the wake of the pandemic. During the court proceedings, the central government sought top court’s direction in restraining the media reporting on the coronavirus pandemic in the country, ensuring that no news is reported without ascertaining the actual facts from the information given by the government.
Meanwhile, at the time of writing the article, the active COVID-19 cases in India reached to 1,238 with 123 cured and 35 deaths as per the data published by the government. Indian citizens have been kept under a 21-day lockdown in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus. However, during the lockdown, the Centre is ensuring that the supply of essential commodities including rations, groceries, milk, and medicines continues across various parts of the country.
Amid the lockdown, the Central government in hands with the State government has also taken various measures to protecting the rights of the migrant workers, by providing them shelter, food and medical facilities. As per a government affidavit, over 21,000 relief camps have been set up state governments which are providing shelter and food to over 25,00,000 people across the country. At the same time, scores of migrant workers have been moved to their native places amid the outbreak of the pandemic where they have been advised to remain in self-isolation.