FIR against Kannada paper Vishwavani an effort to intimidate press: Editors Guild of India

The FIR has been lodged by JD(S) leader Pradeep Gowda alleging that a report in the newspaper on the political turmoil in the family of JD (S) chief H D Deve Gowda is defamatory

EditorsGuild

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) has condemned a First Information Report (FIR) filed by Bengaluru-based JD(S) leader Pradeep Gowda against Kannada newspaper Vishwavani and its owner-Editor Vishweshwar Bhat.

“It’s an effort to intimidate the press and stifle freedom of expression,” the Guild said in a statement.

The FIR alleges that a report in the newspaper on the political turmoil in the family of former Prime Minister and JD (S) chief H D Deve Gowda is defamatory.

“The Guild strongly condemns the use of criminal defamation and brazen misuse of other provisions of the law against the media and demands that the Karnataka government must immediately ensure that the FIR is withdrawn. This case is worse, because the FIR is not even filed by the person allegedly affected but by a party man claiming to be aggrieved. This is a brazen misuse of law and state power,” the statement mentioned.

The EGI also reiterated its demand that the defamation law should be decriminalised.

“The misuse of law in this specific case, however, goes way beyond criminal defamation as many Indian Penal Code provisions have been invoked in what looks like a motivated and arbitrary use of power,” it said. 

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