SC upholds freedom of expression for media, refuses to revive case against Sardesai
The Supreme Court said on Monday that the media must be allowed freedom of expression and refused to revive a defamation case against senior TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.
Dismissing an appeal filed by the daughter of a senior bureaucrat from Bihar, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said: “You must learn to tolerate in democracy. This court may have upheld the validity of the defamation law but that does not mean that every case can be categorised as defamatory.”
The petitioner wanted Sardesai to face defamation proceedings for a report that was aired in 2010 in which she was accused of being involved in a land-allotment scandal.
The bench said there may be instances of wrong reporting but they cannot be called defamatory and advised the petitioner to rest the matter.
“Don’t hold it forever,” the court said.
The petition was filed against Patna high court’s September 2017 order that quashed the defamation case against Sardesai and held there was no direct allegation against him.
Sardesai was the editor-in-chief of the IBN network at the time.
The complainant had lodged a case against the channel’s reporter and Sardesai for airing the story on the alleged scam.
In her appeal, the petitioner said Sardesai, as the head of the channel, was aware of the incorrect report and must have given consent before it was aired.