Media to face action for wrong reporting of Gyanvapi survey: court

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The Varanasi district court on Thursday said that necessary legal action will be taken against the media if it wrongly publishes any news regarding the survey of the Gyanvapi complex while directing the agency, the plaintiffs and the defendants not to share any information about the exercise.

The written order was passed by District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha on an application moved by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee. The court has fixed August 17 as the next date of hearing.

It may be noted that the Intezamia Committee in its application had stated that no statement has been given regarding the proceedings of the survey being done by the ASI survey team or any of its officers, but the social media, print media and electronic media was arbitrarily spreading wrong and false news of the places which have not been surveyed till date.

It stated that it was creating a wrong impact on the daily life of the public and different types of things are arising in the minds of the people and disharmony is spreading in the city of Varanasi and its adjoining areas.

It was requested that it was justified and necessary to prevent the dissemination and publication of news regarding false surveys on social media, print media and electronic media in an arbitrary manner in order to maintain peace in the nearby districts and not to let it affect the daily life of the public.

The judge observed, “I am of the opinion that the nature of the ongoing survey on the plot in question by the order of the court is sensitive. The ASI has no right to make any comment or give any information to the counsel for the plaintiffs or the counsel for the defendants regarding the survey.”

It stated, “The ASI officers are also bound to present the report of the survey only before the court and giving any information regarding the survey to print media, social media or electronic media is neither justified nor legal.”

“Therefore, all the officers of ASI, who are doing the survey work, are ordered they will not give or share any information regarding the survey to any print media, social media or electronic media regarding the survey and present the report only before the court,” it said.

It ordered, “Similarly, the plaintiffs and defendants in the case, their counsels, district government counsels, civil and other officers are also ordered not to share any information regarding the survey with any print media, social media or electronic media nor publicise it so that the said report can be presented before the court only.”

The court ordered, “If the print media, social media or electronic media wrongly publish any news regarding the survey despite no information from the ASI, plaintiffs and defendants and without formal information then necessary action will be taken against them as per the law.”

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