Editors Guild Express Concern on Misuse of Criminal Defamation Laws Against Journalists in Jharkhand
Moneylife Digital Team 05 January 2024
Reiterating its long-standing demand to scrap the criminal defamation law, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) has expressed serious concern over the misuse of criminal defamation laws against journalists to intimidate and harass them. Such matters be left to be adjudicated in the civil domain, EGI says.
Referring to a first information report (FIR) registered by Jharkhand police against editors of Prabhat Khabar, EGI says this FIR is based on a complaint filed by one Jogendra Tiwari. Those named in the FIR include Prabhat Khabar's chief editor, Ashutosh Chaturvedi, its resident editor, Vijay Kant Pathak, and its managing director (MD), Rajeev Jhawar.
"It must be noted that Mr Tiwari, who is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail, had allegedly made threatening calls to Mr Chaturvedi in response to some reports published in the newspaper on charges filed by the directorate of enforcement (ED), against some members of the liquor mafia in the state," EGI says.
On 30 December 2023, the Editors Guild had written to the chief minister of Jharkhand, as well as the chief secretary, home secretary, and the director general of police (DGP), urging the government to initiate an inquiry into this, and to take necessary steps for ensuring the safety of Mr Chaturvedi.
EGI reiterated its earlier demands while urging the state government and the police to complete the investigation into an earlier complaint of Mr Chaturvedi.
Press Club of India also expressed concern over the fake case against the editor-in-chief of Prabhat Khabar in Jharkhand. “We demand from Jharkhand government and police a thorough investigation in the matter and justice for editor,” it says on X.


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