Friday, 30 September, 2022
HomeIndiaEditors Guild slams arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia, Nation TV head &...

Editors Guild slams arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia, Nation TV head & editor

Prashant Kanojia was accused of uploading a Twitter video on UP CM Yogi Adityanath while Nation Live’s head and editor were charged for airing the video.

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New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India Sunday condemned the arrest of Noida-based journalist Prashant Kanojia as well as editor and head of the NOIDA-based television channel Nation Live, Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla, respectively, by the Uttar Pradesh government.

According to a statement issued by the Editors Guild, “The police action is high-handed, arbitrary and amounts to an authoritarian misuse of laws. The Guild sees it as an effort to intimidate the press, and stifle freedom of expression.”

Kanojia was accused of uploading a video post on Twitter on UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of a woman claiming to have a “relationship” with Yogi Adityanath. While Nation Live’s head and editor were charged with having aired the video about him.

“Whatever the accuracy of the woman’s claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalists for sharing it on the social media and airing it on a television channel is a brazen misuse of law. To give the police powers to arrest, provisions of Section 66 of the IT Act have also been added,” the Editors Guild statement said.

“This is a condemnable misuse of the law and state power,” it added.

The Guild pointed to the March FIR of Vishweshwar Bhat, editor-in-chief of the Karnataka newspaper Vishwavani, which had reported that chief minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil had got into a drunken altercation with his grandfather, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

The FIR against Bhat had been lodged on a complaint filed by Janata Dal (Secular) leader Pradeep Gowda.

The Guild noted that just like in the Karnataka case, “the FIR in (the Kanojia) case is also not filed by the person allegedly affected but suo motu by the police.”

The Guild reiterated its demand to decriminalise the defamation law , as its misuse goes way beyond criminal defamation.

It pointed out that “many IT Act and Indian Penal Code provisions have been invoked” in the Prashant Kanojia case, “in what looks like a motivated and vindictive action.”


Also read: Sting operations important, defamation can’t be used to gag media, says Delhi High Court


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2 COMMENTS

  1. A slightly philosophical observation on a Sunday afternoon. In any system where power is exercised, there are countervailing forces, checks and balances. At the turn of the century, the United States had become a hyperpower. That led to the follies of Iraq and Afghanistan. Domestically, the incumbent is the master of all it surveys. The opposition is groggy, on the ropes. Institutions designed to ensure wisdom and moderation in the exercise of power are largely disabled. So it is now a time for self restraint and statesmanship. Almost anything is possible. But, most assuredly, in life there are costs and consequences. In its relationship with the media, a much better path needs to be trodden in the second term.

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