SC restrains AP police from coercive action against news channels in sedition case | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed coercive action against TV channels who were accused of sedition for airing YSRCP rebel MP Krishnam Raju’s critical views against Jagan Reddy government’s handling of Covid situation in Andhra Pradesh.
The SC restrained police from taking any coercive action against two Telgu news channels — TV5 and ABN Andhrajyothi – for alleged sedition in showing ‘offensive’ speeches of YSR rebel MP K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju.
The SC said the broadcasting of programmes by TV channels and publication of views by print media, howsoever critical of government, may not be seditious.
It would also endeavour to define sedition in the context of such charges being invoked against media, the apex court said.
“It is time we define the limits of sedition”, Justice DY Chandrachud observed.
A special bench headed by Justice D Y Cyhandrachud sought the response of the state government within four weeks on the pleas of the channels which are charged for various offences including the harsh penal offence of sedition.
The bench, also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, also made clear that there shall be no coercive action against the the employees or the staffers of the news channels in connection the same FIR.
“We are of the view that provisions of 124A (sedition) and 153 (promoting enmity between classes) of the IPC require interpretation, particularly on the issue of the rights of press and free speech”, the court said.
It was alleged that the FIRs were registered against the channels for publishing the press statements of Raju.
The top court had earlier granted bail to the lawmaker in connection with the same case.
(With inputs from agencies)

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