No Blanket Order to Restrict the Circulation of News on WhatsApp, Facebook etc

The bench of Justice S. C. Sharma and Justice Shailendra Shukla of the Madhya Pradesh High Court was hearing the Public Interest Litigation filed by a social worker (Petitioner). The petitioner contended that many of news have been circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook and on other social media. The Court denied putting a blanket order to restrict the circulation of news on WhatsApp, Facebook etc on wild allegations.

The relief prayed by the Petitioner are as follows

A. That Fake News Channels and their Fake Journalists, running and working on Mobile Applications, WhatsApp, Youtube, Facebook and on other social media platforms, without the permission of the Information and Public Relation Department, be banned and an order regarding the same be issued.

B. That lawful action be taken against them under the relevant penal provisions.

C. DM, Ujjain and Information and Public Relation Department be directed to not let such activities take place in future and appropriate actions be allowed to be taken to restrict such activities.

Observation made by the Hon’ble High Court

  • The petitioner has not been able to point out any statutory provision of law which entitles the publicity department to have a check on such news.
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  • In case, any crime is committed, the petitioner is certainly free to take recourse to the statutory provisions and in case there is any violation of any other statutory provision of law, which has not been pointed out by the petitioner in the present petition or before this Court, the petitioner shall be free to take recourse to other legal remedies.
  • The Court by a blanket order cannot restrict the circulation of news on WhatsApp, Facebook etc on the basis of wide allegations levelled by the petitioner. And thus, dismissed the petition


Case No.: WP-14448-2020

Coram: Justice S. C. Sharma and Shailendra Shukla

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