SC extends protection of Editors Guild members till Sept 15text_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday extended its order directing the Manipur Police not to take any coercive steps against four members of the Editors Guild of India (EGI) till September 15, Friday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud stated that it will extend the operation of its September 6 order passed on the plea of the Editors Guild till Friday when it will hear the case.
At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, said that the EGI members may be protected for some more time and the matter be sent to the Manipur High Court as done in other cases.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Shyam Divan, appearing for the EGI, opposed the submission and said the matter be heard in top court as the FIRs have been lodged on the basis of a fact-finding report.
“We will take it up on Friday,” the bench said, adding it will take up the reply of the state government on that day.
On September 4, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had said a police case had been filed on the basis of a complaint against the president and three members of the Editors Guild of India and accused them of promoting enmity between two communities and trying to “provoke clashes” in the state.
A second FIR was also registered against the four members of the Guild, with the additional charge of defamation.
The Editors Guild, in a report published on September 2, slammed the internet ban in the state as being detrimental to media reportage, criticised what it termed as one-sided reporting by some media outlets and claimed there were indications that the state leadership had “turned partisan” during the conflict.
The chief minister had said, “They are anti-state, anti-national and anti-establishment (people) who came to pour venom. Had I known it before, I would not have allowed them to enter”.
With inputs from PTI