The Supreme Court on Friday restrained the authorities of various states from taking coercive action against Rohit Ranjan, anchor of a news channel. FIRs have been registered against Ranjan in some states for ‘showing in wrong context’ the video of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Anchor Rohit Ranjan has filed a petition requesting to bundle all the FIRs together and be protected from coercive action.
On this petition, the top court, through the office of the Attorney General, also issued notices to several parties including the Center. While issuing notice on the petition, a vacation bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice JK Maheshwari said that in the meantime, the responding authority will not take coercive action to detain the petitioner in connection with the program telecast on July 1.
FIRs have been registered against Ranjan in some states for showing the video of Rahul Gandhi in wrong context. Ranjan apologized after the video aired and the news program was withdrawn. On Tuesday, a police team from Chhattisgarh arrived in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad city to arrest the anchor from his house, but he was arrested by the Noida Police, Indian Express reported.
However, the anchor was released on bail on Tuesday night. The FIR in Raipur was registered under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, outraging religious feelings of any class), 467 (forgery), 469 (Forgery to damage reputation). Ranjan had approached the apex court seeking urgent hearing on his plea seeking protection from penal action for the alleged offence.
A day after the video aired, anchor Rohit Ranjan apologized for mistakenly linking Rahul Gandhi’s statement to the Udaipur massacre. Ranjan had anchored the show where a misleading video of Rahul Gandhi was aired on July 1, linking his comments on the SFI attack on his office in Wayanad to the murder of a tailor in Udaipur.