Released by Hon’ble Justice P. Sathasivam, Chief Justice of India!
What is the authoritative legal treatise on Media Law in India has been thoroughly revised in this, its second edition. The earlier chapters have been updated to reflect recent decisions and statutory changes and, importantly, entirely new sections of contemporary relevance have been added.
Of particular interest are those on cinema and emerging trends, both of immediate relevance today. Issues such as the infamous Radia Tapes controversy, the live coverage of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the Arab Spring and the role that the media and modern communications technology played in those momentous event, and on the ongoing debate on media self-regulation are addressed with insight and clarity in fluid and accessible writing. In a time when the judiciary is repeatedly accused of encroaching on the legislative and executive domains and, simultaneously, the Fourth Estate is criticized for usurping the functions of the judiciary, the relevance and importance of this work to law practitioners, students and the general public cannot be underestimated.
“A painstaking and erudite work...”
Justice P. Sathasivam, Chief Justice of India
“The title of the book Facets of Media Law is a misnomer and is attributable to the modesty of the author. In reality the book is a mini encyclopaedia of the multiple dimensions of media law of which freedom of expression and freedom of the press are essential components. Madhavi Divan is a busy practising lawyer in the Supreme Court. One wonders how she found the time and energy to produce this scholarly work. It is an extraordinary feat. The reader would certainly be interested to know the author's source of industry and energy which led to the production of this monumental work. Without exaggeration it can be said that the book (work) should be the invaluable companion of every judge, lawyer, administrator, media house, academic and intellectual and aspiring lawyers, and students who will understand and appreciate the true rationale of freedom of expression and freedom of the press and its vital importance in our democracy.”
Soli J. Sorabjee Former Attorney General for India
Sunday Pioneer: An impressive work on a new field of law in the glut of legal publishing in India today, far too many tomes are rushed into print with little scholarship and less insight. Few merit serious attention; fewer still contain original analysis. It is a rare book that dares to traverse uncharted territory Madhavi Goradia Divan's Facets of Media Law is the latest addition to this select class. Streaming media and the capacity to transmit huge amounts of data very quickly owe their technological origins to an industry that is almost entirely illicit in most parts of the world. What form must the law take to keep the technology while effectively regulating the industry that spawned it? This is a fairly typical conundrum in media law, There is very little legislation, and certainly no unifying, well-thought statutory framework to effectively govern the several facets of media law. Ms Divan clearly accepts this, as the felicitous and carefully measured title of the book shows.Ms Divan's book is remarkably au courant and has an uncommon freshness and relevance. The appendix includes comments on the Jessica Lall, Priyadarshini Mattoo and Nitish Katara cases, as also a withering comment in a footnote on the media-hungry conduct of a hospital in the recent imbroglio about Rahul Mahajan's alleged drug overdose.
Frontline Magazine: Time there was when Indian lawyers were notorious for their insularity and ignorance of the world outside, a failing that got worse when some of them became judges. In England, the entrant to one of the Inns of Courts has a good record in the university behind him. Fortunately, the trait is on the wane. The modern Indian lawyer makes himself familiar with the growing expense of the law. Shyam Divan co-authored a fine book on environment law. His wife Madhavi has written what bids fair to be the best book on media law to appear in recent years. It begins with a discussion of the constitutional foundations, proceeds to cover the permissible constitutional restrictions and covers the law on a host of topics which lawyers, journalists and concerned citizens have to deal with; to wit, morality, obscenity and censorship, contempt of court, defamation, the right to privacy, copyright, the right to information, advertising, hate speech, legislative privileges, reporting judicial proceedings, broadcasting and taxation. They are capped by a brief survey of statutes of old, which provide the historical foundations, and an appendix on emerging trends. An epilogue covers the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006, a successor to two failed ventures. The research is thorough, the style is lucid and comments are incisive. As well as case law, the author cites recent episodes in India which raised issues of media law. She mentions sting operations, for instance. They are here to stay, which is why one wishes that the formidable literature on the subject and rulings of the British Press Complaints Commission were set out in full. Film censorship is discussed but it merits a chapter by itself on the structure of film censorship. It is unconstitutional. The book will, one is sure, be updated constantly in editions to come. Texts of the statutes on media law should be provided for ready reference, either in the volume itself or in a separate companion volume.
DNA Sunday: The history of the privileges of the press and media in India began with Dr. B.R. Ambedkar declaring in the Constituent Assembly Debates in 1946 that editors or managers of a press were all citizens and when they chose to write in newspapers, they merely exercise their individual right of expression. Therefore, no special mention of rights to the fourth estate was necessary. Today, however, with the media explosion and the finite nature of modern technology pushing the frontiers of existing law. Facets of Media Law by Madhavi Goradia Divan, a practicing lawyer in the Bombay High Court, is a timely collation of enactments and precedents put together for the student and practitioners of law and journalism in India. The book explains the existing legal framework and the growing need to restructure it. It begins with the constitutional foundation of the law and covers facets as diverse and interesting as Parliamentary privileges, defamation, and contempt of court. It does its best to give meaning to vague and elastic notions of hate speech, morality, obscenity and right to privacy. The book also addresses the discomfiting trend of trial by media and the opposing views of judicial officers on the ascendance of the fourthe table as a `law enforcement agency'.
The Hindu, Delhi: Facets of Media Law by Madhavi Goradia Divan is a bold attempt to put together a variety of legal materials on issues relating to media freedom which have come up for adjudication in Indian courts during the last five decades and more. Organised in 14 chapters and an appendix, the book not only gives a critical lawyer-like commentary on propositions of media law but also draws certain conclusions delineating the emerging jurisprudence on the subject. It is no doubt a useful handbook for lawyers and journalists for understanding the contours of a legal framework the content of which is still evolving. The astounding developments in information-communication technology and the status which intellectual property rights is assuming globally have added to the prevailing uncertainties of media law and made it an attractive subject for practitioners and academicians alike. Divan's book, being a pioneering work on the subject, will set the tone and tenor of future debates providing the foundation for yet another area of specialization in public law. The Broadcasting Bill, the Convergence Bill, the Information Technology Act, the Right to Information Act, the Right to Information Act, the amended Contempt Law are all indicators of the importance and legislative enrichment of media law in the recent past.
1. Constitutional Foundations. 2. Morality, Obscenity and Censorship 3. Contempt of Court 4. Defamation 5. The Right to Privacy 6. Copyright 7. Cinema 8. Rights of Publicity 9. The Right ti Information 10. Advertising 11. Hate Speech 12. Privileges of Parliament and the State Assemblies. 13. Reporting Judicial Proceedings 14. Broadcasting 13. Taxation 14. Emerging trends, Media Ethics and Regulation 15. Historical Foundations.