New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of the Centre on a plea seeking a direction to restrain media houses from using the word ‘Dalit’ in news articles, alleging it creates “inequality” in the society.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and asked it to take instruction on whether there is any law to prohibit the use of the word by media houses.
“Notice to respondent no.1 (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting). Take instruction whether there is any law which prohibits using of the word ‘Dalit’, which according to the petitioner is objectionable,” the court said.
It fixed January 13, 2017, for further hearing of the plea by Prem Kumar Singh, who has also sought a direction to the Press Council of India to restrain all print and electronic media from using word ‘Dalit’ during broadcasting of news. The bench then asked the petitioner that if such words should not be used, than what expression can be used in their place.
Meanwhile, the counsel for the government told the bench that as of now there was no circular regarding such usage by the publishers. The bench asked the ministry to find out and inform the court on the next date of hearing.
Referring to some news headlines which had used the expression ‘Dalit’, the petitioner said,
“The legislature has made provisions to ensure no one may create any kind of hatred or animosity between the different communities or religions of the country, so that there may be a harmonious atmosphere in the society”.