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December 4, 2023 3:18 pm

Supreme Court extends protection of Editors Guild members in two FIRs lodged against them in Manipur

New Delhi, September 11

The Supreme Court on Monday extended till September 15 its order asking the Manipur Police not to take any coercive steps against four members of the Editors Guild of India (EGI) in connection with two FIRs lodged against them for alleged offences, including promoting enmity between two communities.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said it would extend the operation of its order passed on September 6 on the plea of the Editors Guild till Friday when it would hear the case.

At the outset, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state government, said the EGI members might be protected for some more time and the matter be sent to the Manipur High Court as done in other cases.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Shyam Divan, appearing for the EGI, opposed the submission and said the matter be heard in top court as the FIRs have been lodged on the basis of a fact-finding report.

“We will take it up on Friday,” the bench said, adding it would take up the reply of the state government on that day.

On September 4, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had said a police case had been filed on the basis of a complaint against the president and three members of the Editors Guild of India and accused them of trying to “provoke clashes” in the state.

A second FIR was also registered against the four members of the Guild, with the additional charge of defamation.

“Till next date of listing, no coercive step shall be taken against the (four) petitioners in connection with the FIRs…,” the bench had ordered on September 6.

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