'Right to Information' Can't Be Restricted Because Of Transmission Of Coronavirus



The press is the fourth pillar of democracy. It is a watchdog of government. It also acts as a link between a large group of audience to each individual. Without Press people feel like they are isolated from the world. In Anuradha Bhasin v. U.O.I (10th Jan 2020), It was held that freedom of the press is a requirement in any democratic society for its effective functioning and the Government is required to respect this at all times.



Case - T. Ganesh Kumar v. Union of India (10th April 2020): This case was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to issue a writ of certiorari. It was held that newspapers should be circulated. The petitioner argued that the coronavirus is capable of spreading through the surface of the paper and can survive until 4 days. As per the petitioner, the possibility of spreading the virus will increase if the delivery boy is infected with COVID 19. But further, it was argued that restraint he Print Media from Publishing will go against the Fundamental Rights of citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of Constitution of India i.e Right to freedom of speech and expression.



Various research reports claim that newspapers may have the potential in carrying viruses from one place to another. But it was being observed through some records and also from the media that spreading of virus through newspapers is not that much extensive. The professor of Virology stated that transmission of the virus through paper products is least probable but spreading coronavirus through newspapers could be prevented or prohibited by ironing the newspaper before reading it washing hands with soap after reading the newspaper. Thus, the court dismissed the petition and held that the Right to Information is a fundamental right and restraining Print media will be an infringement of fundamental rights of Publishers, editors, and readers.





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