The Supreme Court said on Thursday that the freedom of speech and expression is the “most abused right” in recent times, PTI reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, also comprising of Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, made the statement while hearing a petition filed by Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind and others. 

In its plea, the Islamic religious organisation has alleged that a section of media was spreading communal hatred over Tablighi Jamaat congregation during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Freedom of speech and expression is the most abused right in recent times,” the apex court said.

The court also took exception that instead of secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, an additional secretary filed the affidavit which contained “unnecessary” and “nonsensical” averments with regard to media reporting in Tablighi Jamaat issue.

“You cannot treat this court the way you are doing in this case,” the court said.

The apex court sought an affidavit from the I&B secretary with details of steps taken in the past to stop motivated media reporting in such cases.