Tuesday June 25, 2019
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Report matters of criminal defamation by media: Delhi government to officials

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Delhi Elections 2015 and AAP

By NewsGram Staff Writer

A few days after Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal accused media for “conspiring against Aam Aadmi Party”, Delhi government has asked officials to report matters of criminal defamation.

The notification, issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity, was not just for the government officials but also includes Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal.

The circular refers to sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The section states that if any officer of the Delhi government feels that a published or an aired item has damaged his or the government’s reputation, he should file a complaint in this regard with the Principal Secretary (home).

According to the circular, after getting an approval from the director (prosecution), the matter should be referred to the law department and after the government’s consent, a case should be filed

“If by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, any person makes or publishes any defamatory imputation against the Chief Minister/Ministers of the government of NCT of Delhi or any public servant, employed in connection with the affairs of government of NCT of Delhi, in respect of his conduct in the discharge of his public functions and if the person aggrieved believes that such imputation has harmed his/her reputation, he/she will report the matter in writing to the Principal Secretary (Home) , Government of NCT Delhi,” the circular reads.

Sajjan Singh Yadav, the director of Information Department, told The Indian Express, “This is nothing new. We have not enacted any new law. We have just informed government functionaries about the available remedies in defamation cases under the existing law of the land.”

Another senior official told to the newspaper, “It is an explanatory circular for the understanding of all government employees from the Chief Minister to a peon. Other states have also issued such circulars. The need for such a circular was felt for a long time and has nothing to do with any alleged attacks on the media by the Aam Aadmi Party.”

He added, “A number of government employees, especially from the MCDs, faced harassment from small-time newspapers and channels that were threatening and blackmailing them under the pretext of reporting. The circular has been issued only to explain to them that if there are any personal attacks or irresponsible reporting against them while discharging their duty, then such legal action can be initiated”.

 

  • THIS SHALL BE A GOOD DOSE TO NEWS CHANNELS (MAY BE ACTUALLY ADD CHANNELS) AND(MOSTLY) ARROGANT MEDIA.

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Bangladesh Authorities Shut 54 News Portals and Websites in Fresh Blow to Freedom of Expression

In recent months, the authorities have shut 54 news portals and websites, including that of the main opposition party, citing security reasons

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Poriborton.com, one of the country's top five online news outlets, was cut off without notice. VOA

Bangladesh authorities have blocked access to a popular news portal in what critics on Tuesday condemned as the latest blow to freedom of expression in the South Asian nation.

Poriborton.com, one of the country’s top five online news outlets, was cut off without notice on Sunday, managing editor Abu Sufian told AFP. He did not give a reason.

Officials for government agencies that regulate the internet industry denied any knowledge of the case or refused to comment. The website can still be accessed in other countries.

But a Bangladesh media industry source said a government security agency issued the order after a report published on the website raised questions about the financing behind a newspaper advert against Muslim militancy.

news portal
Poriborton.com, one of the country’s top five online news outlets, was cut off without notice on Sunday, managing editor Abu Sufian told AFP. VOA

Muslim groups had condemned the advert, saying it described some signs of Islamic faith as marks of radicalization. In recent months, the authorities have shut 54 news portals and websites, including that of the main opposition party, citing security reasons.

They cut access to the website of Qatar-based TV station Al Jazeera in March after it published an article alleging the involvement of a senior defense official in the disappearance of three men.

The blocking of Poriborton came just days after three prominent activists and writers were arrested under the country’s tough internet laws.

The arrests of poet Henry Sawpon, human rights defender Abdul Kaium, and lawyer and champion of indigenous people Imtiaz Mahmood last week prompted protests in Dhaka and outrage on social media.

Sawpon and Mahmood were released on bail Thursday, but Kaium remains in detention on charges of extortion and defamation under the digital security law. He risks a jail term of up to 14 years.

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In recent months, the authorities have shut 54 news portals and websites, including that of the main opposition party, citing security reasons. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who took office for a third straight term in January, has been accused of increasing authoritarianism and criticized for introducing draconian internet and digital security laws that many say are being used to crack down on dissent.

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Sweden-based researcher and author, Tasneem Khalil, told AFP that Poriborton.com was the “latest victim of a robust system of internet censorship in Bangladesh that has been rolled out since the beginning of this year”.

Khalil, a former journalist in Bangladesh who went into exile in 2007, said, “security sources told me that access to poriborton.com was blocked because of a report it published that angered the Bangladeshi military intelligence agency.” (VOA)