‘Brazen Attack on Free Speech’: Editors Guild on FIR Against Dua
“The accusations are a brazen attack on his right to free speech and fair comment,” said The Editors Guild of India.
Days after the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch lodged an FIR against senior journalist Vinod Dua, on a complaint made by BJP spokesperson Naveen Kumar, who accused Dua of “fake news marketing”, the Editors Guild of India has issued a statement in support of him.
“The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned by the growing tendency among police in various states to take cognisance of frivolous charges against journalists and convert them into a First Information Report (FIR),” the statement read.
Calling the accusations, a brazen attack on Dua's right to free speech and fair comment, The Editors Guild added, "An FIR based on this is an instrument of harassment setting off a process that is itself a punishment."
“The Guild unequivocally condemns this practice and urges the police to respect Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms rather than behave in a manner that raises questions on its independence.”The Editors Guild of India
The FIR was registered on Thursday, 4 June, at Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar police station and alleged that Dua is “committing offence of public nuisance, mischief, printing and engraving matters known to be defamatory, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, statements conducting to public mischief, etc, and other cognisable offence inter alias offence punishable under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act”.
According to The Indian Express, the FIR has been registered under sections 290 (public nuisance), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), and 505 (2) (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter) of the IPC.
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