Kejriwal govt’s defamation circular on media stayed by SC

Delhi chief minister had also sought public trial of media as some media houses were conspiring against his party

GN Bureau | May 14, 2015


#defamation case   #Delhi government   #Arvind Kejriwal   #media  

The supreme court has stayed a circular issued by the Delhi government on initiating defamation proceedings against media houses. The court asked on Thursday “why is there a need to issue the defamation circular”.

A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra passed the order on an application filed by Kapil Sibal's son Amit Sibal who had filed defamation case against Kejriwal.

The court pointed out that Kejriwal has challenged criminal defamation cases against him on the grounds that they encroach upon his right to freedom of speech. His lawyers have argued that defamation should be considered a civil wrong.

"You can't do both things together - come to the Supreme Court against defamation on one hand, and then take action against the media," the judges said.

According to the May 6 circular the Delhi government could file defamation cases against media organisations for publishing or broadcasting any news that damages the reputation of the chief minister, his council of ministers and the government.

The circular issued by the state information and publicity department said if any officer associated with the Delhi government feels that a published or aired item damages his or the government’s reputation, he should file a complaint with the principal secretary (home).

“In such a case, a reference letter containing details of the factual error, mode of publication, ground for considering it as defamatory, should be forwarded to principal secretary (home), who in turn should consult the director (prosecution) to check the possibility of legal action,” said a Delhi government official.

According to the circular, after getting a go-ahead from the director (prosecution), the matter should be referred to the law department and a case should be filed after the government approval.

The officials of the Delhi government have also been asked to monitor the news channels from 9 am to 11 pm. This is being done for the first time by the Delhi government.

Taking the lead, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal while defending his law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, accused of faking his law degree, had called for a “public trial” of the media. “There is a need for a public trial of the media to expose their bias,” he had said, speaking in Hindi but using the words “public trial” in English.

“A section of the media has tried everything to tarnish the Aam Aadmi Party’s image,” he said, adding some media houses were conspiring against his party.

“Why did not television channels highlight issues related to (surface transport minister Nitin) Gadkari but leave no stone unturned to showcase AAP issues? We need transparency in the media.”

Comments

 

Other News

Food security: Solution lies in traditional food

After spending almost a month among tribals of Mandla in Madhya Pradesh, I can confidently say that by restricting ourselves to Public Distribution System (PDS), we cannot solve the food security issues of the country.   The problem is graver. In a district like Mandla, where aboriginals like Bai

Wholesale price index inflation down

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 2.60% (provisional) for the month of September, 2017 (over September,2016) as compared to 3.24% (provisional) for the previous month and 1.36% during the corresponding month of the previous year, authorities said.

Digital India to provide 20-30% increase in India’s GDP by 2025: Alphons

Digital India program has the potential to provide an incremental 20-30 percent increase in India’s GDP by 2025. Since its launch in July 2015, significant progress has been made in several initiatives under Digital India, said union minister KJ Alphons. Several of the flagship project

Senior railway officer Achal Khare on the bullet train roadmap

Achal Khare, MD, National High Speed Rail Corporation, is a man with big responsibility – of realising India’s dream of running a bullet train. In conversation with Vishwas Dass, Khare lists various challenges before the NHSRCL – the executing agency of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed

Why bullet trains are unsuitable for India

Many will be surprised to know that 80 years ago, trains ran at a faster speed in North America and Western Europe than in India today. On the shorter distances (up to 500 km), daytime inter-city trains achieved average speed of 120 to 130 kmph, and on the longer routes (more than 1,000 km) speed was only

Biting the bullet train

If all goes well, India’s first high-speed train would zip by in  December 2023. In fact, railways minister Piyush Goyal is even confident that the 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail (HSR) project would be completed much before that, by August 2022 – on the country’s 75th indepe



Video

Finally Talwar’s out from Dasna  jail

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter