The Editors Guild of India (EGI) informed the Supreme Court on September 11 that its delegation had visited Manipur at the invitation of the Army to conduct an "objective assessment" of the "unethical and ex parte reporting" by the local media.
“We did not volunteer to go there. It is the Army that requested us. We got a letter from the Army,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, for the EGI, submitted before a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.
The Chief Justice was puzzled why the Army wanted the EGI to go to Manipur.
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“They wanted us to objectively assess what is happening on the ground… We published our report on September 2. On September 3 night, we were prosecuted for offences under the Indian Penal Code. The Chief Minister also makes statements against us… How can we be prosecuted for publication of a report,” Sibal asked the court.
The Chief Justice reminded Manipur government Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that this was a case in which the whole First Information Report (FIR) was based on an EGI report.
“It is a report after all. The basic question he [Sibal] is arguing is they have only done a report that may be a matter of their [EGI’s] subjective opinion… This is not a case of somebody on the ground committing an offence… They have published a report,” the Chief Justice differentiated.
The matter will now be heard on September 15, 2023.
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