No coercive motion towards residents airing concern on social media, SC tells states

Satya Prakash

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, April 30

The Supreme Court on Friday said states could not take coercive action against people sharing distressing information on social media to seek medical help for their dear ones during Covid pandemic.

“I flag this issue at the outset…We want to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievance on social media and internet then it can’t be said it’s wrong information. We don’t want any clampdown on information,” a Bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said during hearing on a suo motu PIL on Covid management.

“We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievance is considered for action,” said the Bench, which also included Justice LN Rao and Justice SR Bhat.

The UP government had reportedly ordered strict action against those creating panic by making false appeals for help on social media for Covid patients.

However, the top court said, “Let a strong message go to all the states and their DGPs…Clampdown on information is contrary to basic precepts.”

The top court last week had taken suo motu cognisance of the Covid management and asked the Centre to present a national plan to deal with the health crisis with regard to supply of oxygen and essential drugs, method of vaccination and lockdown.

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