The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed an FIR against journalist Vinod Dua. A BJP leader in Himachal Pradesh had lodged the FIR over his YouTube show, reported The Indian Express.
The apex court said that every journalist is entitled to protection, any detention or FIR is subject to the law laid down earlier. However, it declined to order the setting up of a committee to review any complaints of sedition against journalists.
The journalist was charged under sections 124A (sedition), 268 (public nuisance), 501 (printing matter known to be defamatory) and 505 (statements conducive to public mischief) on the basis of a complaint by BJP's Mahasu unit president Ajay Shyam. Shyam claimed that Dua made bizarre allegations on his 15-minute YouTube show on March 30 last year.
Shyam alleged that the journalist accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using "deaths and terror attacks" to get votes, reported Live Law.
Last week, the top court while staying coercive action against two Telugu TV channels stated that sedition laws need to be reexamined to uphold media freedom, "particularly in the context of the right of the electronic and print media to communicate news, information and the rights, even those that may be critical of the prevailing regime in any part of the nation."
India remains one of "one of the world's most dangerous countries" for journalists in the World Press Freedom Index. It ranked 142 among 180 countries.