Manipur Violence| Supreme Court orders no coercive action in FIR against fact-finding committee sent by Editors Guild

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Manipur Police had registered an FIR against Editors Guild President Seema Mustafa, and Seema Guha, Bharat Bhushan and Sanjay Kapoor who were part of the fact-finding team that visited the State 

The Supreme Court today granted interim protection to a fact-finding committee sent by Editors Guild of India (EGI) to Manipur to examine the reporting of incidents across the state by the media.

An FIR was lodged against them by the Manipur police for allegedly making provocative statements.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner today told court that a petition was filed under Article 32 seeking quashing of the FIR and interim relief.

"...the FIRs are against senior journalists and editors..this committee concluded that the local news reports on the manipur situation were biased..", the CJI Chandrachud led bench was told.

"Why have you not approached the High Court? What is the emergency..", asked the bench also comprising Justices Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

The Court was initially inclined to grant protection for a limited period of one week and asked the petitioners to avail other remedies available to them under law.

Divan, however, insisted that the protection should be for longer period citing the case of Advocate Deeksha Dwivedi.

"There are some additional factors. After the report was published on 2nd and after FIRs were registered, the Chief Minister made a statement in a press conference stating that EGI has stoked controversy by making provocative statements etc," Court was further told. 

Supreme Court went on to agree to hear the matter and granted interim protection till September 11, i.e., Monday.