Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: The Division Bench of Pankaj Mithal, CJ, and Sanjay Dhar, J., asked Jammu and Kashmir government if there exist any law to regulate news portals in the Union Territory and whether there exist any provisions to keep a check on circulation of fake news.

The instant Public Interest Litigation was filed to raise the concern of mushrooming growth of news agencies on social media especially the news portals which were involved in circulating fake news. It was alleged by the petitioner that in the Union Territory, several news portals like Kashmir News, Kashmir Voice, Kashmir Breaking News, News Kashmir 24/7, Kashmir Business Hub and Bol Kashmir etc. were operating freely without any registration or license from any authority and those news portals were not under supervision and control of any authority whatsoever.

In the light of the aforesaid averments, the Bench asked upon the government of J&K to file a report pointing out the provisions of law under which such news portals if at all were required to be registered or licensed and if so, whether the abovementioned news portals were running with due permission in accordance with law and whether any agency was examining the contents of the news circulated by these news portals. The period of one month was granted to the government for compliance.[Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Forum v. UT of J&K, WP (C) PIL No. 10 of 2021, decided on 30-07-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

For the Petitioner/s: Shafqat Nazir, Adv. with Shabir Ahmad Bhat, Adv.

For the State: D. C. Raina, AG with Sajad Ashraf, GA.

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