The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to create a mechanism to deal with the menace of fake news in media.

It sought to know from the Centre about mechanisms available under the Cable TV Network Regulation Act, and also what action has been taken against fake news in the last three weeks.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta replied that Centre has ample powers to regulate contents of TV channels but takes a very cautious approach, as right to free speech as a fundamental right is available to media.

The court then asked the solicitor general to create a mechanism.

For addressing grievances against fake news circulated by TV channels and media.

If none such is available currently. “What is shown in TV channels is of great consequences for the country,” it said.

The bench, which was hearing the pleas filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind.

And others alleging that a section of the media was spreading.

Communal hatred over Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of pandemic.

Asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit dealing with mechanism.

To regulate electronic media under the Cable TV Network Act.

The Jamiat Ulama I-Hind had petitioned the apex court saying false propaganda.

Was unleashed by circulating fake news.

About the Tablighi Jamaat on social media, TV and print media to singularly target the Muslim community.

It alleged that the government had remained a mute spectator.

And sought a gag on reporting that the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin led to spread of Covid-19 in many parts of India.

The Centre had allowed a junior I&B ministry official to file a affidavit.

Which informed the court that it was impossible to act on the basis of Jamiat Ulama I-Hind’s plea .

In a terse observation, the court has called the affidavit ‘nonsensical.’