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HomeIndiaEditors Guild condemns FIR against Kannada daily editor, says it’s ‘brazen misuse...

Editors Guild condemns FIR against Kannada daily editor, says it’s ‘brazen misuse of law’

The 'Vishwavani' report had claimed that Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy’s son, got into a drunken argument with grandfather Deve Gowda.

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New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India Wednesday condemned the FIR filed against the editor-in-chief of a Kannada daily for publishing a report on Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the son of Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

The Guild called the move “an effort to intimidate the press and stifle freedom of expression.”

“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of the law against the media, and demands that the Karnataka government must immediately ensure that the FIR is withdrawn,” a statement from the Guild said.

The FIR was lodged based on a complaint filed by Pradeep Gowda, a Bengaluru-based Janata Dal (Secular) leader, against Vishweshwar Bhat, the editor-in-chief of Vishwavani, over a report that claimed Nikhil got into a drunken altercation with his grandfather, former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda. The FIR stated the news report was defamatory.

“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 Guild added.

Reiterating its demand that the defamation law should be decriminalised, the Guild said the misuse of law in this specific case went beyond criminal defamation as many IPC provisions have been invoked and it looked like a “motivated and arbitrary use of power.”

The report in Vishwavani, published on 25 May, claimed that Nikhil — upset over his election defeat to Independent Sumalatha, widow of Congress minister M.H. Ambareesh, in Mandya — stormed into Deve Gowda’s residence in Bengaluru’s Padmanabhanagar and verbally abused the former prime minister for causing him huge embarrassment as he had lost to a woman.

The report claimed that Nikhil was under the influence of alcohol at that time.

The JD(S) has complained there is “malicious intent” in the article, which is “completely false and baseless”.

Also readEditors Guild of India condemns attacks on journalists in West Bengal during polling


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