BOLLINENI RAJAGOPAL NAIDU Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
LAWS(APH)-2022-3-37
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
Decided on March 08,2022

Bollineni Rajagopal Naidu Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH Respondents




JUDGEMENT

PRASHANT KUMAR MISHRA, J. - (1.) The petitioner is connected with mainstream electronic media news channel, namely, TV5 Telugu news. This writ petition (public interest litigation) has been preferred seeking direction to the respondents not to foist cases on media personnel or social media users in a cavalier manner or sans concrete evidence corroborating the prima facie involvement of the alleged perpetrators in the crime; to direct the respondents to forthwith upload a copy of the First Information Report within 24 hours from the lodging of a report and further to direct them to strictly follow the guidelines laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, reported in (2014) 8 SCC 273, in all cases registered by them henceforth without fail.
(2.) It is highlighted that Freedom of Press is an Implied Right inherent in the Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India as held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Sakal Papers v. Union of India, reported in AIR 1962 SC 305 and the Press seeks to advance public interest by publishing facts and opinions without which a democratic electorate cannot make responsible judgments. It is, thus, agitated that Freedom of Press is for the benefit of the general community; therefore, foisting of false cases or harassing the media personnel is opposed to the Constitutional Doctrine of Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression. Referring to two cases registered against the petitioner's T.V. channel involving offences attracting imprisonment of less than seven years, it is stated in the writ petition that arrest in such cases is not permissible in view of the judgment rendered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar (supra).
(3.) The petitioner is not praying for quashing of the criminal cases registered against the T.V. channel. The prayer is only for a direction to the respondents not to foist cases in a cavalier manner without concrete evidence and to direct the Police to follow the guidelines laid down in Arnesh Kumar (supra).;


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