FIR Against Republic TV Staff for ‘Defaming’ Mumbai Police
Republic TV called the move a “brazen abuse of office”.
An FIR has been registered against four journalists of the news channel, Republic TV, for allegedly defaming the Mumbai Police and trying to cause "disaffection" among members of the police force, news agency PTI reported on Friday, 23 October.
What is the FIR All About?
The FIR has been filed at the NM Joshi Marg police station under section 3 (1) of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922, read with Section 500 (Punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The complainant in the case is sub-inspector Shashikant Pawar of the Special Branch. The accused listed include Sagarika Mitra, deputy news editor; Shivani Gupta, anchor/senior associate editor; Shawan Sen, deputy editor; Niranjan Narayanaswamy, executive editor; and, editorial staff and newsroom incharge for the concerned report getting aired, and others.
Which Republic Report Does the FIR Pertain to?
According to PTI, the FIR pertains to a report run by the channel about a 'revolt' against the city police commissioner by senior officials. By airing the report, the accused have committed offences amounting to incitement to disaffection among members of the police force and defaming Mumbai Police, the FIR stated.
On Thursday, Republic TV aired a bulletin titled: “Revolt Brewing Within Mumbai Police Against Param Bir Singh; Officers Lash Out Off Record”. The bulletin mentioned that a “rebellion” was brewing “against the Mumbai top cop within the Mumbai Police”.
“Policemen part of the (TRP) investigation have revealed to Republic how they are being forced to go after the network for the personal agenda of Param Bir Singh that is destroying the credibility of the Mumbai Police,” the anchor added.
The bulletin also shows Sagarika Mitra mentioning that a senior Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leader confirmed to the channel that actions by the Mumbai’s top cop has caused the government “major embarrassment.”
Republic TV’s Response
In response, Republic TV said, "In a brazen abuse of office, the Mumbai Police has booked the entire Editorial Staff of Republic and achieved a new global feat of state machinery trying to muzzle the voice of the free media."
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