This post was originally published here.
Today, the government passed a bill called ‘The Mainstream Media & Social Media Courts Bill, 2013’, which legally recognises the mainstream media like newspapers, television channels and radio channels and also the social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs to act as Courts. All these media can now adjudicate any kind of social, political or commercial issues whenever there are no important things like ‘Shah Rukh Khan vs. Salman Khan’ and ‘Ritesh Deshmukh vs. Tusshar Kapoor’.
The bill was unanimously passed by both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and sent to the President for his signature. To ensure the President’s immediate attention, the bill was sent to his office in a sealed envelope with ‘Mercy Petition’ written on it.
According to the newly passed bill, media can either hear the parties and pass a judgment or pass a judgment and hear the parties. However, it is made clear that ‘hearing the parties’ is not mandatory at all. After passing the bill, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh remarked that, “This would surely help reducing the huge pendency of cases before the courts. If not that, it will at least ensure that people don’t go to courts. Theek Hai?”
This bill also suggests various ways of disposing of cases by the social media. For example, if a person gets more number of ‘RTs’ in Twitter and ‘likes’ in Facebook than the other person, he would be deemed to have won the case against that other person.
The bill was welcomed by all the quarters and more surprisingly, even by various legal luminaries. Speaking for himself and 90% of the Indians, retired Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju said that “This is a great move. Seriously, courts do not make any sense. I mean, why would anyone wait 20 long years for the court to pass a judgment if one can watch Munna Bhai MBBS in less than three hours and pass a judgment?” referring to the recent controversy.
Corporate bigwigs also seem to have lot of praise for the new bill. Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy in an interview to FakingNews was quoted saying, “Enough is enough. I am done with all these cases, appeals, appeals on appeals, revision on appeals on appeals, contempt in revision, revision on contempt, and appeal against revision. No court understands what degree of injustice has been done to us. Even we don’t have any idea. Let’s have a TV debate and settle it through Sagarika Ghose. At least the degree of injustice will then be apparent,” whilst talking about Sahara’s everlasting love for SEBI.
Arindam Chaudhuri also had a word or two about the bill, “Dare to think beyond courts. Dare to think beyond anything. But remember one thing – IIPM is a B-school with a human face. More like mine.”
The only shocking response came from none other than Arnab Goswami, “NEW BILL? BULLSHIT! I HAVE BEEN PASSING JUDGMENTS FOR AGES NOW.”