On Thursday, September 2, the Supreme Court shared its observation on the Tablighi Jamaat reporting and observed how communal tone in news reporting is a problem. The top court shared its woes on the increase in fake news that’s spread across platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and news media outlets and claimed that these platforms show “no accountability”.


“Tablighi Jamaat”, a term which was once remembered as an Islamic congregation which sees a congregation of Muslim people was painted in the colour black during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

As many as 9,000 people attended the event in the Nizamuddin Markaz Mosque, New Delhi and soon, 4,291 fresh cases emerged – all linked to the religious event.

The event led to several news media outlets attacking the event, along with the Muslim community across the country. Biased reporting of certain news outlets added more fuel to the fire, leading to severe push back from the Muslim community.

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“They never respond to us and there’s no accountability”: CJI Ramana Lashes Out

On September 2, the Supreme Court were hearing writ pleas that sought action against certain media houses for communalizing the Tablighi Jamaat incident.

Taking heed to the issue, newly appointed Chief Justice of India, N. V. Ramana remained concerned of the fact that there are social media outlets and media houses that present news in a communal tone.

Lashing out on such platforms, CJI Ramana claimed that these platforms pay attention to “powerful people” and not take heed to institutions and common people’s wisdom.

CJI Raman was quoted during the plea hearing saying, “Twitter, Facebook or YouTube…they never respond to us and there is no accountability. About the institutions they have written badly and they don’t respond and say this is their right.”

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Platforms Only Listen to “Powerful Man”

He further added, “They (platforms mentioned above) only worry about powerful men and not judges, institutions or common man. That is what we have seen.”

“Fake News Gives Bad Name to Country”

Reigniting the debate on autonomous nature of social media platforms that shy away from accountability, CJI Ramana claimed that on YouTube, there’s fake news which give a “communal colour” to incidents which eventually gives “bad name to country”.

“If you go to YouTube, so much is shown in one minute. You can see so how much fake news there is. Web portals are not governed by anything. There is an attempt to give communal colour to news and that is a problem. Ultimately it brings a bad name to the country,” CJI Ramana said.

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IT Rules Framed to Tackle Such Issues: SG Tushar Mehta

Meanwhile, India Solicitor General, Mr. Tushar Mehta added that the news is not only communal in nature, but are often planted ones. He further said that the new IT Rules are framed to tackle such issues and that the IT Rules that have been challenged by the High Courts of multiple regions have been transferred to Supreme Court.

“The rules are being challenged by the various High Court’s & various orders are being passed. If your lordship could have a holistic picture as it is an all-India issue,” SG Mehta submitted.

Times Now Censured for Biased Reporting

It should be noted that earlier this year, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) issued a censure to Times Now news platform for its biased news coverage during the Tablighi Jamaat incident. The NBSA also went on to fine News18 Kannada and Suvarna News for similar biased coverage.