IMPHAL | Oct 23
The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned by the Rajasthan government’s decision to make the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017 into an Act in the current legislative session.
A release said the ordinance promulgated by the State government last month was ostensibly done to protect the judiciary and the bureaucracy against false FIRs. But in reality it is a pernicious instrument to harass the media, hide wrongful acts by government servants and drastically curb the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
The Editors Guild wants the Rajasthan government to immediately withdraw the ordinance and desist from making it into law.
Rather than taking stern measures to prevent and punish those who indulge in frivolous or false litigation, the Rajasthan government has passed an ordinance that is bent on bludgeoning the messenger, it said.
While the Guild has always stood for fair, balanced and responsible reporting of FIRs filed in courts of law, it believes that the remedy being employed by the Rajasthan government is draconian and gives it unrestrained power to even imprison journalists for reporting matters of public interest, it added.
Further the Guild appeals to the chief minister, Vasundhara Raje to withdraw the harmful ordinance and prevent any Act from being passed that would endanger the freedom of the press.