5 Oct 2023

Newsclick case: Media Organizations Make This Appeal To CJI DY Chandrachud

New Delhi: Organizations associated with media in India have written a letter to the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, appealing for his intervention in the matter of action against NewsClick.

This letter has been written jointly by Press Club of India, DigiPub and many other media organizations.

In this letter, the Chief Justice has been urged to take steps to stop the use of investigative agencies to suppress the media.

In this letter, the organizations have written, “The developments that have taken place have left us with no option but to appeal to your conscience to take cognizance and intervene.”

In this letter, media organizations have said that this is an appeal from one pillar of democracy to the other pillar to save its existence.

In the letter, the judiciary has been urged to maintain the fundamental right to freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution.

'Scribes are working under threat of retaliation'

The letter said, “The reality today is that a large section of journalists in India are working under the threat of retaliation.”

In this letter, the issue of use of stringent UAPA law in action against Newsclick has also been raised and it has been called scary.


'Journalist cannot be prosecuted as a terrorist'

Media organizations have argued that journalist cannot be prosecuted as a 'terrorist'.

Citing the actions taken against the media in recent years, it has also been said that investigative agencies are being used to curb journalism.

The case of Kerala journalist Sidheeq Kappan has also been cited in this letter. Sidheeq Kappan was arrested while going to report the gang rape incident in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh and was booked under UAPA. It took two years for Kappan to get bail.

During the action on NewsClick, Delhi Police has also recovered laptops and mobile phones of journalists. An appeal has also been made to the Supreme Court to set rules for confiscating equipment from journalists.

Guidelines demanded for quizzing journalists

Besides, an appeal has also been made to set guidelines for how journalists should be interrogated.

In this letter, the media organizations have also appealed to the Supreme Court to find a way to fix the responsibility of the officials of the investigating agencies who act beyond the scope of law and mislead the court.

The letter was shared by DigiPub News India Foundation, Indian Women Press Corps, Foundation of Media Professionals, National Alliance of Journalists, Network of Women in Media, Chandigarh Press Club, Delhi Union of Journalists, Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists, Free Speech Media organizations like Collective Mumbai, Mumbai Press Club, Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists, Press Association of India and Guwahati Press Club have extended support.

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