Dainik Jagran’s call to remove ‘Alt News’ article about his mass burial reporting rejected
Delhi court dismissed Hindi newspaper on Monday Dainik Jagran’s petition delete an article posted by a fact-checking website New alternatives about his report in May, Bar and Bench reported Tuesday.
“There is no reason for the court to step in at such an early stage and stifle the ever-widening contours of freedom of expression, as developed by higher courts,” said civil judge Chitranshi Arora.
In the article, New alternatives had described newspaper articles claiming that mass burials in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh had not increased due to the coronavirus crisis as misleading.
“Dainik Jagran, over the past few days, has released a series of reports attempting to portray that mass burials have always taken place along the banks of the Ganges and that online media are misleading their readers with sensational coverage of the issue ” , New alternatives said in his article published on May 30.
During the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India in April and May, reports emerged from several towns along the Ganges in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar of bodies floating in the river or buried along its banks.
The corpses were believed to be Covid-19 patients whose final rites could not be performed in the crematoriums because they lacked space.
Dainik Jagran accused New alternatives defamation and claimed that the fact-checking site contained false and derogatory statements in its article, Bar and Bench reported.
New alternatives countered the charges, saying his article was based on a field investigation and extensive research. The website argued that Dainik Jagran’s petitioning to have the article removed was in violation of press freedom.
The judge heard the case noted that the New alternatives article was based on several interviews. “Whether they finally succeed in proving their defense or not is a matter of trial and cannot be determined at this point,” Arora said, according to Live Law.
The judge added that in matters of public interest, freedom of expression becomes even more important.
“Also in this case, the offending article talks about the mass burials in the state of UP during the horrific second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, of course, is of concern to and for the masses. in India, ”she said. said, according to Live Law.