Journalism

Yellow Journalism is not expected from the Newspaper like Times of India [PHC]

G.P., being an officer of the Court practically, the Editor and the Reporter are doing contempt in making such imputation against him. However, taking a compassionate view, contempt of Court’s proceedings are not being drawn, although it is observed in clear terms that publication in this respect and on earlier publication also on the same matter regarding the Court proceedings and imputation thereof are totally uncalled for and unwarranted and such sort of publications without verification of the records or the orders of the Court amount to Yellow Journalism.

(1997) 1 PLJR 133

PATNA HIGH COURT

SINGLE BENCH

( Before : P.K. Deb, J )

RANCHI TIMBER TRADERS ASSOCIATION AND OTHERS — Appellant

Vs.

STATE AND OTHERS — Respondent

C.W.J.C. No. 3687 of 1996 (R)

Decided on : 21-11-1996

General Clauses Act, 1897 – Section 28, Section 4(36)

ORDER

P.K. Deb, J.—On the motion of the Petitioner, the case has been brought in the list under the heading “To be mentioned” today.

2. Mr. Ram Balak Mahto, by filing petitions alleged that the Gazette Notification which has been alleged to be made of 12th October, 1996 was an ante dated one. At the time of filing of the writ petition, there was a certificate from the Government Press that there was no such Notification uptil now. By referring to a judgment of this Court as reported in 1968 PLJR 582 (Mahnar Notified Area Committee and Ors. v. State of Bihar). Mr. Mahto has pressed much that enquiry must be made in this matter as to find out the truth as to when the Notification is made in the Gazette and when it was received in the Government Press from the Forest Department for the purpose of Gazette Notification. According to him, as law requires as per Section 4(36) of the General Clauses Act r/w Section 28 of the said Act, publication has not yet been made.

3. This submission has been made on the ground that there are much paper publications even imputing on the Petitioner’s Advocate and the Government Advocate to that effect. The Times of India (Patna Edition) of Wednesday, November, 20th is definitely unfortunate. Such sort of imputation by way of Yellow Journalism is not expected from the Newspaper like that of the Times of India. It appears that Order of this Court was also quoted in the publication under inverted comma, but such were not the wordings of the Court. Without verifying from the Court of the Certified copy of the Order, such sort of publication is unwarranted. Practically, the order of the Court cannot be published on the publication of November, 20th of the Times of India, when the order was signed on 20th November, 1996 itself in the morning hours. The imputation made against Mr. V. Shivanath G.P.I. is totally uncalled for as it was submitted by Mr. V. Shivnath, while the order was passed that the counter affidavit was going to be filed that day itself as was awaited affidavit and Gazette Notification was enclosed with the counter affidavit.

4. G.P., being an officer of the Court practically, the Editor and the Reporter are doing contempt in making such imputation against him. However, taking a compassionate view, contempt of Court’s proceedings are not being drawn, although it is observed in clear terms that publication in this respect and on earlier publication also on the same matter regarding the Court proceedings and imputation thereof are totally uncalled for and unwarranted and such sort of publications without verification of the records or the orders of the Court amount to Yellow Journalism.

5. A copy of this Order should be sent to the Editor of Times of India (Patna Edition) immediately for future guidance.

6. Supreintendent of Government Press (Secretariate) is hereby asked to make an enquiry as to the Notification being made as per Annexure-A, a copy of which may be sent alongwith Order and submit a report the stages under which such Notifications were being made as there is allegation of ante dated publication. Such report must reach the Joint Registrar within two weeks next.

7. After the Gazette Notification is being made, the position of writ petition remains that the vires of amended Rule as per Notification itself is being challenged.

8. In that view of the matter, it became the matter to be adjudicated by a Division Bench and hence the same may be placed before the appropriate Bench.

9. No further notice is necessary to the parties as all have appeared, except the fact that the Petitioner should serve two copies of the writ petition on the added Respondent No. 6 so that they can file counter affidavit within two weeks next.

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