The Delhi government has decided to file defamation cases against media organisations for publishing or broadcasting any news that damages the reputation of the chief minister, his council of ministers and the government.
According to a circular issued by the state information and publicity department, if any officer associated with the Delhi government feels that a published or aired item damages his or the government’s reputation, he should file a complaint with the principal secretary (home).
“In such a case, a reference letter containing details of the factual error, mode of publication, ground for considering it as defamatory, should be forwarded to principal secretary (home), who in turn should consult the director (prosecution) to check the possibility of legal action,” said a Delhi government official.
According to the circular, after getting a go-ahead from the director (prosecution), the matter should be referred to the law department and after taking approval from the government, a case should be filed.
Condemning the circular, the BJP said it was the result of repeated exposures of the Arvind Kejriwal government’s misdeeds by the media. This was another proof of the anarchist and authoritarian approach of the Kejriwal govt, the BJP said.
Earlier this week, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal while defending his law minister Jitender Singh Tomar, accused of faking his law degree, had called for a “public trial” of the media .
“There is a need for a public trial of the media to expose their bias,” he had said, speaking in Hindi but using the words “public trial” in English.
“A section of the media has tried everything to tarnish the Aam Aadmi Party’s image,” he said, adding some media houses were conspiring against his party.
“Why did not television channels highlight issues related to (surface transport minister Nitin) Gadkari but leave no stone unturned to showcase AAP issues? We need transparency in the media.”
If Tomar had done any wrong, Kejriwal said he would have surely asked him to step down.