Broadcasts on Republic TV on 16.04.2020 and R Bharat on 21.04.2020, in relation to an incident at Gadchinchle [Palgarh, Maharashtra], led to the lodging of multiple First Information Reports against Arnab Ranjan Goswami. The broadcast is the foundation of the allegation that offences have been committed. To allow a journalist to be subjected to the pursuit of remedies traversing multiple States, when faced with complaints bearing the same foundation, destroys the right of the journalist to ensure an informed society. The intervention of this Court is necessary to protect the rights of ARG to fair treatment, guaranteed by Article 14, and the liberty, as a journalist, to conduct an independent portrayal of views. The filing of multiple First Information Reports arising out of the same telecast is an abuse of the process and is impermissible.
– Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. Union of India, [Writ Petition (Crl) No. 130 of 2020].
Also see, Krishna Lal Chawla v. State of UP, [Criminal Appeal No. 281 of 2021] decided on 08.03.2021.
It must be clarified, every journalist will be entitled to protection in terms of Kedar Nath Singh, (1962) Supp. 2 SCR 769 as every prosecution under Sections 124A and 505, IPC must be in strict conformity with the scope and ambit of said Sections as explained in, and completely in tune with the law laid down in Kedar Nath Singh.
– Hon’ble Justice U.U. Lalit, Vinod Dua v. Union of India, [Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 154 of 2020] decided on 03.06.2021.