Media represents the will and ‘expression’ of the rights of people .The rapid technological development in the field of mass media has lead to shrinking of global space and limiting the volumes of information in memory chip and handsets. Concomitant, to it is the legal regulation and control in collection, processing, storage and dissemination of information, obviously, the existing law is struggling to cope with this rapid change. Surprisingly enough India does not have a Media Regulatory Body, which can safeguard the privacy of people over unfettered right of media in terms of speech and expression The enlarging gulf between regulation and technology is a cause of great concern.
Sharing this concern on Law Day, Amity Law School, Delhi organized a stimulating lecture on ‘Media, Sting Operation and Privacy Law- The Regulatory Dilemma’ which was inaugurated by Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra- BSP, National General Secretary and Dr. Ashok K Chauhan- Founder President, Amity Universe.
The lecture evaluated the role of media in communicating, educating and making aware the civil society about the occurrence of events & news in their surroundings which was earlier inaccessible. The efficacy of sting operations in the form of investigative journalism and the likelihood of it being misused was broached and discussed by eminent guests including Prof. Ashwani Kumar Bansal- Law Centre-1, University of Delhi & Hony. Director, Institute of Constitutional & Parliamentary Studies; Shri K.P. Pathak- Additional Solicitor General of India.; Mr. Sumit Awasthi- Editor, IBN- 7; Shri K.C. Mittal- President Delhi High Court Bar Association; Shri K.K. Manan- Chairman, Delhi Bar Council and Shri Tripurari Ray- Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Congratulating Amity University for taking up such a relevant topic for the seminar, Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra- BSP, National General Secretary said that the topic of the seminar is very contemporary and is discussed outside as well as inside the parliament. Right to Privacy is implicit in the Right to Life (Article 21 of Constitution). Parliamentarians are made targets of sting operations because they are public figures and represent public therefore public has a right to know if they are indulging in malpractices. Public Figures have to be cautious in their conduct. Media, as a fourth pillar of democracy, has a right to check people and crime ubiquitous in society. But at the same time media also need to be checked. It should not forget its duty towards the country in the wake of commercialization, when there are more than 300 TV channels running 24 hours and vying for sensational stories. Citing the case of Raja Ram Pal, Mr. Mishra said that in his case Supreme Court upheld the facts extorted by the sting operation done by a private channel. So, sting operations cannot be touted as good or bad; they are good if done for the sake of welfare of society and bad if carried out to settle personal scores with a person.
Welcoming the august gathering, Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, Founder President, Amity University said that in a country like ours where corruption and dishonesty has gone deep into the veins of the people, the humungous facts revealed by sting operations cannot be overlooked. If a person of eminence does some wrong, people have right to know about it but inducing someone to commit a crime and revealing it in the name of social interest is unethical. This irresponsible behavior of media needs to be checked.
Prof. Ashwani Kumar Bansal- Law Centre-1, University of Delhi said that unbridled power vested in media needs to be checked. Media needs to be accountable to the society. It should gather news not create news and when it indulges in creating news, it goes off balance. Media should not fail the people. The content aired should be securitized very carefully lest it should create social unrest in the society.
Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, Founder President, Amity University delivering the inaugural address
From L-R Mr. K.P. Pathak, Additional Solicitor General of India, Dr. Ashok K. Chauhan, Founder President, Amity University, Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra, National General Secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party
Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra, National General Secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party addressing the distinguished gathering