Supreme Court granted interim protection to “The Wire” and its three journalists.

Rajasree Roy

Today, Supreme Court on the Wire case, granted interim protection to popular news website “The Wire” and its three journalists. Live Law reported this is for two months in relation to three separate First Information Reports filed against them by the Uttar Pradesh Police.

Supreme court on the wire said that they would not entertain the writ request recorded by the Foundation for Independent Journalism. The request was recorded testing the three FIRs. The Supreme Court requested that the applicant approach the concerned High Court to look for suppression of the FIRs.

The Uttar Pradesh Police took names of three journalists – Mukul Singh Chauhan, Ismat Ara, and Seraj Ali of The Wire. As there is the relation to three articles published on “The Wire”.

The main report and article is something else for what these all are happening. The reports were about the death of a farmer during a protest in Delhi on January 26, Republic day. There was an assault on a Muslim man in Ghaziabad of Uttar Pradesh and a demolition of a mosque in the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh.

  • According to the report of Live law, The FIRs filed in Rampur, Ghaziabad, and Barabanki districts, booked the website and the journalists under:

Sections 153 (intent to cause riots),
153A (promoting enmity between different groups)
153B (making assertions prejudicial to national integration)
505 (making statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.

In its petition, the Foundation for Independent Journalism, The Wire submitted and gave a statement that the three published articles did not lead to any kind of unrest and they have no intention to make any disharmony.

“The fundamental assumption in these FIRs is that The Wire and its journalists have reported what they have with the intent to foment communal disharmony,” the petition noted.

What is about Petition and the Plea?

The petition stated that to suggest that reporting verbatim claims of citizens could create disharmony was “most pernicious”.

“The criminal proceedings initiated against them [petitioners] amount to an abuse of the due process of law, and they also severely curtail their right to free speech and expression, as well as that of carrying on their profession of journalism,” the plea said.

What said Supreme Court on The Wire?

The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai, and BV Nagarathna said that the journalists should have approached the High Court first instead of directly applying to the Supreme Court.
The court said, “We don’t want the press to be stifled.“But we cannot create separate avenues for journalists to come to this court directly under Article 32 for quashing FIRs.”

A quick check here, Article 32 is about the rights to Constitutional remedies. Constitution gives the right to move writ petitions to the Supreme Court.

What are the three reports about in detail?

It is the story of the death of a farmer on 26th January, Republic Day. A farmer named Navreet Singh had died in Delhi on January 26 during a tractor rally that was held to protest against the Centre’s contentious agriculture laws. The Delhi Police guaranteed that the rancher had kicked the bucket after his work vehicle toppled. Notwithstanding, addressing The Wire, Singh’s family had guaranteed that he was shot dead.

Leave a Reply