The Supreme Court, on Monday (July 20) adjourned the plea seeking for the quashing of an FIR filed against Journalist Vinod Dua, at the request of Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Himachal Pradesh police. It has been listed for further hearing on the next Monday, July 27.
Consequently, the Apex Court extended the interim protection granted to the senior journalist from coercive action in the sedition case filed against him by a local BJP leader in Himachal Pradesh over his YouTube show until further orders. Multiple FIRs have been filed with the latest in Maharashtra and West Bengal.
A bench of Justices UU Lalit and Vineet Saran, posted the matter for further hearing on July 27. The SG’s request for an adjournment was opposed by Senior Advocate Vikas Singh, appearing on behalf of Dua, who also brought forth the submission that Dua was still being subjected to multiple questionnaires. Dua has said freedom of the press is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.The bench reiterated that he need not answer further questionnaire.
Besides seeking quashing of the FIR in the plea, has sought “exemplary damages” for “harassment”. He has also sought direction from the apex court that “henceforth FIRs against persons belonging to the media with at least 10 years standing be not registered unless cleared by a committee to be constituted by every state government, the composition of which should comprise of the Chief Justice of the High Court or a Judge designated by him, the leader of the Opposition and the Home Minister of the State”.