Editors Guild expresses concern over FIRs for 'frivolous' charges against journalists

The Guild has asked the police to 'respect Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms'

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 9, 2020 9:51 AM
Editors Guild

The Editors Guild of India has expressed concern over the police taking cognisance of 'frivolous' charges against journalists and converting them into an FIR.

The Guild has asked the police to 'respect Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms'. In a statement issued by Shekhar Gupta, President; AK Bhattacharya, General Secretary; and Sheela Bhatt, Treasurer, the Guild has mentioned the latest instance of an FIR being filed against veternan journalist Vinod Dua.

The letter from Editors Guild reads as follows:

The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned by the growing tendency among police in various states to take cognisance of frivolous charges against journalists and convert them into a First Information Report (FIR).

The latest is the instance of the Delhi Police's FIR against veteran journalist Vinod Dua, based on a complaint by Naveen Kumar, who has been identified as a spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The accusations are a brazen attack on his right to free speech and fair comment. An FIR based on this is an instrument of harassment setting off a process that it itself a punishment.

The Guild unequivocally condemns this practice and urges the police to respect Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms rather than behave in a manner that raises questions on its independence. 

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