There has to be responsibility in reporting, CJI tells Arnab

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Monday made some sharp observations on the reporting pattern adopted by Republic TV, during the hearing of an appeal filed by the Maharashtra government challenging the Bombay High Court order staying the investigation against the channel’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami in connection with shows focusing on Palghar lynching case.

A bench, headed by the Chief Justice, told senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Goswami: “You can be old-fashioned and report it differently. Frankly speaking, I cannot stand it. This has never been the level of public discourse.”

Chief Justice said the problem is in the course of investigation, some authorities use unfair means and this is a purely intellectual and verbal matter.

The Chief Justice added that police can ask questions, even the statute says that, and the courts should not interfere, but it has to be done in a certain manner.

The Chief Justice said that “the court agrees with the freedom of press, but it does not appreciate the submission that as a person from the media your client should not be questioned”.

“We want a sense of assurance from you of responsibility,” he said.

“There has to be responsibility in reporting. There are some areas one has to tread with caution,” the Chief Justice said, adding that he can’t stand it and this not kind of public discourse to have.