SC agrees to hear Editors Guild members' plea against Manipur Police FIR today

After a short indulgence, the bench said: “Alright, you get your papers produced. We will take it up after our admission cases are over (for today)"

Representative image of SC (photo: IANS)
Representative image of SC (photo: IANS)


The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to urgently hear the writ petition filed by the president and three editors of the Editors Guild of India (EGI) challenging the FIR filed by Manipur Police for releasing a "biased and factually inaccurate" report on the ethnic conflict in the northeastern state.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra was apprised by senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the members of the fact-finding committee formed by EGI, that the petitioners are apprehending arrest. 

“There is a very grave urgency in the case... Essentially, we are seeking emergent protection from arrest and coercive steps,” Divan said, while mentioning the plea for urgent hearing. 

After a short indulgence, the bench said: “Alright, you get your papers produced. We will take it up after our admission cases are over (for today).”

Multiple FIRs were registered against the president of the EGI, and three editors -- Seema Guha, Bharat Bhushan and Sanjay Kapoor, who visited Manipur last month to study media reportage of the ethnic violence and the circumstantial aspects.

A three-member fact-finding team of EGI after visiting Manipur, published its report in New Delhi last week, claiming that the media's reports on the ethnic violence in Manipur were one-sided, and accused the state leadership of being partisan.

“It should have avoided taking sides in the ethnic conflict but it failed to do its duty as a democratic government which should have represented the entire state,” the 24-page EGI report said in its conclusions and recommendations.

The FIR stated that the EGI report captioned a photo of a burning building in Manipur’s Churachandpur district as a “Kuki house”.

The building, however, was a Forest Department beat office that was set on fire by a mob on May 3, the day when large-scale violence broke out in the district along with other parts of the state.

The EGI, however, on Sunday, in a post on X (formerly Twitter) said: “There was an error in a photo caption in the report released on Sep 2. The same is being rectified and an updated report will be uploaded on the link shortly. We regret the error that crept in at the photo editing stage.”

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Published: 06 Sep 2023, 12:07 PM