Delhi HC Asks Media Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha To Decide Whether Non Issuance of Annual Pass To Freelance Journalists Violate Their Right to Free Speech [Read Order]

first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi HC Asks Media Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha To Decide Whether Non Issuance of Annual Pass To Freelance Journalists Violate Their Right to Free Speech [Read Order] Karan Tripathi20 May 2020 9:27 AMShare This – xDelhi High Court has asked the Media Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha to revisit its Rules and Guidelines for issuance of passes to see as to whether non issuance of annual passes to freelance journalists violate their Right to Freedom of Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. While disposing of the petition, the Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla noted…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginDelhi High Court has asked the Media Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha to revisit its Rules and Guidelines for issuance of passes to see as to whether non issuance of annual passes to freelance journalists violate their Right to Freedom of Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. While disposing of the petition, the Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla noted that there are two conflicting interests that are to be balanced and tested on the touchstone of doctrine of proportionality. In the present writ petition, the Petitioner had challenged the order dated 06/07/17 by the Media Advisory Committee of Rajya Sabha, which had restricted the issuance of passes to the journalist under the freelance category to only sessional passes thereby discontinuing its earlier practice of issuing an annual pass to the journalist under the freelance category. In addition to this, the Petitioner had also sought court’s direction to the said Committee to issue a permanent pass to the Petitioner for covering the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha. The Petitioner claims to have to have been covering the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha as well as the Lok Sabha since 1991 as also appearing on various news channels, contributing to several news portals, newspapers, etc. The Petitioner also held the Permanent Rajya Sabha Press Gallery till the Impugned Decision taken by the MAC on 06.07.2017. The Petitioner had argued that the said decision of MAC is not only violative of the Fundamental Right of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India but also under Article 14 inasmuch as it fails to give any reasonable basis for treating the freelance journalist as a separate category from the accredited journalist for issuance of the Rajya Sabha Press Gallery Pass. It was further argued by the Petitioner that the said order seeks to create a divide and treat freelance journalists unequally and as being inferior to those journalists who are affiliated to media houses or news agencies. The Respondents, on the other hand, submitted that a Sub-Committee of MAC was set up in May 2017 to examine and recommend the number of freelance journalists to be admitted to the Press Gallery of the Rajya Sabha and also to rationalize the existence of two types of passes in freelance category. The Sub-Committee in its report observed that such practice of issuing two types of passes for freelance journalists, who are professionally equal, is discriminatory and unjust and recommended only sessional passes to be issued to freelance journalists. The committee also recommended that the annual passes issued to three journalists under the freelance category should be discontinued and they should also be given sessional passes like other journalists in the said category. Therefore, the Respondents argued that the said decision does not violate Article 19(1)(a) of the Petitioner as he can still cover the Rajya Sabha on the basis of the sessional pass. After analysing the decisions of the Supreme Court in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India, and Shreya Singhal v. Union of India, the court observed that must be noted that no person, be a journalist or otherwise, can claim an open access to the precinct of the Parliament. ‘We must also keep in view the ghastly attack perpetrated by the terrorists on the Indian Parliament on 13th December, 2001’, the court said. The court further highlighted that the distinction made between various categories on the basis of circulation or the nature of agency, etc. cannot be said to be arbitrary. In light of this the court observed that: ‘there is no challenge to the decision of the MAC taken in its meeting on 19.11.2011. Therefore, this Court refrain sitself from proceeding further with such consideration. However, it would be advisable for the respondents to revisit its Rules and Guidelines for issuance of passes keeping in view the mandate of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order] Next Storylast_img read more

Plea In NGT For Cancellation Of License Of Reliance Owned Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, For Dumping Fly Ash In Rihand Reservoir [Read Petition]

first_imgNews UpdatesPlea In NGT For Cancellation Of License Of Reliance Owned Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, For Dumping Fly Ash In Rihand Reservoir [Read Petition] LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK23 Jun 2020 10:18 PMShare This – xSupreme Court Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey has moved the NGT seeking cancellation of license of Reliance owned Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, for deliberately throwing industrial garbage in the Rihand Reservoir, the only source of drinking water for people living in MP’s Singrauli and UP’s Sonebhadra districts. The Petitioner had earlier approached the Tribunal seeking implementation…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginSupreme Court Advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey has moved the NGT seeking cancellation of license of Reliance owned Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, for deliberately throwing industrial garbage in the Rihand Reservoir, the only source of drinking water for people living in MP’s Singrauli and UP’s Sonebhadra districts. The Petitioner had earlier approached the Tribunal seeking implementation of an action plan to resurrect the environmental quality of the area. Thereby, the Tribunal had constituted a High Power Committee, with a direction to submit periodical reports on the subject, every three months. In the present petition it is submitted that in absolute derogation of this order, industries such as the Respondent, continue to dump fly ash, bottom ash, toxic residue and other industrial/ solid waste in the Reservoir, consequently damaging the health and life of people living in the vicinity. The plea has been filed in wake of a recent incident dated April 10, 2020, whereby the Reservoir was contaminated, ensuing a breach in the Fly Ash Dyke of the Respondent plant, allegedly due to sheer “negligence”. “That due to the aforesaid breach of fly ash dyke of Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant (Respondent No.1), fly ash destroyed then agricultural land and took lives of 6 innocent villagers (including 3 minor children) and many cattle swept away with the ash slurry in the “Rihand Reservior”. That due to the collapse of fly ash dyke on 10.04.2020, there has been huge loss to the environment and millions of metric tons of fly ash stored in the dyke have been deposited in the Rihand Reservoir through the “Nalla’/Drain. The damage has been caused to the environment in various contexts vis-a-vis ground water damage; damage to standing crops and the agricultural land have become unfertile,” the plea states. Significantly, this is the third incident of a fly ash breach in the past one year, including the Essar Mega Power Plant breach and the NTPC Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station leak. It is submitted that the breach has led to excessive flouride concentration in the water, causing tumors, health hazardous such as dental and skeletal fluorosis, and impact on blood, hair, nails, and other body parts of the nearby residents. In this backdrop, the Petitioner has sought forthwith removal of all industrial waste from the water bodies, villages, drinking wells, agricultural fields and from the Rihand Reservior, in addition to cancellation of license of the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project. The Petitioner has urged the Tribunal to invoke the “Polluter Pays Principle” and direct the Respondent to install a Reverse Osmosis (RC) plant of reasonable capacity on the reservoir, for providing safe drinking water in the area. Further, it is prayed that the Respondent be directed to pay adequate environmental damages for causing pollution in the Singrauli region and to restore the environment and pay compensation/ damages to the affected persons. Inter alia, the Petitioner seeks a direction on the MOEF and other relevant authorities to formulate requisite guidelines, to secure proper checks and balance with respect to disposal of industrial wastes by the Industries running in that area. The plea has been filed through Advocates Pankaj Sharma, Manish Kumar and Priyanka Toppo. Click Here To Download Petition Read Petition Next Storylast_img read more