NDTV raids: CBI trashes NYT editorial, says don’t need lessons on press freedom

The CBI termed the editorial as a “one-sided” piece that doesn’t consider the investigation history of the case against NDTV’s holding company by various tax and law enforcement agencies since 2011.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2017 16:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
NDTV,Prannoy Roy,New York Times
NDTV founder Prannoy Roy addresses a protest meeting against the CBI raids at the Press Club of India in New Delhi recently. (PTI photo)

A New York Times editorial that described the recent raids on properties belonging to NDTV founder Prannoy Roy as “an alarming new level of intimidation of India’s news media under Prime Minister Narendra Modi” has been trashed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The CBI’s response, which was carried by the American newspaper on Thursday, termed the editorial as a “one-sided” piece that “doesn’t consider the investigation history of the case against RRPR (NDTV’s holding company) by different tax and law enforcement agencies in India since 2011”.

CBI spokesperson RK Gaur was scathing in his criticism of the newspaper. “India does not require any lesson on freedom of the press from The Times. Our institutions and traditions are nurtured by our rich and diverse cultural heritage and democratic ethos,” he wrote.

Even the decision to take NDTV Hindi off the air for a day over covering the Pathankot air base attack was enforced after “a proper inquiry that witnessed NDTV’s participation”, he added.

Roy has rejected the CBI’s allegation that he defaulted on a loan taken from ICICI Bank in 2008. While many eminent personalities have described the June 5 raids as governmental vendetta originating from NDTV’s critical coverage of the ruling alliance, others have pointed out how corporations “on friendly terms with the NDA government” are allowed to regularly default on loans without fear of punitive action.

The New York Times editorial was published on June 7.

First Published: Jun 16, 2017 15:00 IST