The Delhi government has decided to 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, reports Hindustan Times.
A circular issued by the state information and publicity department said that 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.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is using the same defamation laws he was fighting against to muzzle media. Kejriwal’s government has asked its ministers to file defamation cases against them, reports the IBNLive.com
The Aam Aadmi Party ministers have been told to inform Principal Secretary (Home) first and then the department will decide if the case can be filed.
The Supreme Court had stayed prosecution of Kejriwal in defamation cases filed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and advocate Surendra Kumar Sharma but he is following the same path.
In the past, Kejriwal had claimed that there is a “conspiracy to finish off the AAP” among a “very large” section of the media. He even went ahead demanding a “public trial” of the media.
Kejriwal accused the media of taking bribes to target the AAP. He added that if any news channel is airing a factually incorrect matter, it should undergo a public trial.
“A very large section of the media has accepted ‘supari’ for finishing off AAP. There can be a public trial. There can be 8-10 spots in Delhi where we can collect a group of people and show the erroneous clip. That way we can start a ‘janta ka trial. If you see a channel shows a factually wrong report, take the channel’s name and bring it forward,” he had said.
This also comes after senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas had sent notices to various news channels over his alleged relationship with a female party member.
A young AAP woman activist went public saying her life was in ruins because Kumar Vishwas was refusing to publicly deny “rumours” of their alleged affair.
She had taken the matter to the Delhi Commission for Women, which had issued notices to Kumar Vishwas.
(Source: IBNLive.com, hindustantimes.com)