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'Not satisfied with Centre's affidavit on pleas over media reporting of Tablighi meet'

Not satisfied with Centres affidavit on pleas over media reporting of Tablighi meet

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the Centre's affidavit in the case related to media reporting of Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, and said the government should consider setting up a regulatory mechanism to deal with such content on TV.

The Apex Court, which asked the Centre to consider creating a regulatory mechanism and apprise it, said the government should also inform as to what steps have been taken on the issue under the Cable Television Network Act (CTNA).

"First you did not file a proper affidavit and then you filed an affidavit which did not deal with the two important questions. This way it cannot be done Mr Mehta," a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

"Mr Mehta, we are not satisfied with your reply. We wanted you to tell as to what actions you have taken under the Cable TV Network Act," said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The top court said the Centre, in its affidavit, has not dealt with the aspect of applicability of the CTNA and the legal regime concerning this.

"We want to know as to what is the mechanism to deal with these contents on television. If there is no regulatory mechanism then you create one. Regulation cannot be left to organisations like NBSA (News Broadcasters Standards Authority)," the bench said.

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