Malicious Reporting on Ishrat Jahan Case #HT


 

To,

The Editor,

Hindustan Times

 

On the day the CBI is set to file its chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case,Hindustan Times has chosen to report about it in a manner that is malicious, prejudicial and intended to manipulate public opinion. The report, “ ‘Ishrat Jahan had links with Kashmir Separatists’: CBI” by Mahesh Langa and Abhishek Sharan in the Delhi/ Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper is nothing short of defamatory. The headline attributes this ‘information’ to the CBI whereas in the text of the report, it is said that two of those killed along with Ishrat “were associated with secessionist groups in Kahsmir”. Clearly, the CBI is not saying that Ishrat had any links with any group. This is a deliberate misrepresentation and a cheap trick to make connections where none exist in order to tarnish the reputation of a deceased girl who is no longer present to defend herself.

We are in possession of the original article written by HT Correspondent Mahesh Langa, which was also carried in the Ahmedabad edition of Hindustan Times as “Ishrat case: What the Chargesheet is Likely to reveal” which does not attempt to make any such a spurious connection.

 

From where then did this headline emerge in the Delhi edition? Why this attempt to taint her with the ‘terror’ tag through false and sensationalist headlines, especially on a day when the battle for justice enters a crucial phase with the CBI expected to file its chargesheet. It can hardly be seen as an innocent oversight given the fact that a concerted campaign to malign Ishrat’s reputation has been central to those trying to obstruct justice and the process of law.

 

The Hindustan Times needs to issue an unconditional apology to the family of Ishrat Jahan, printed in the same large and bold font as the headline of the report today. Such sensationalism violates all codes and ethics of reporting and journalism and is liable to invite action by Press Council and other statutory bodies as well as criminal liability

Vrinda Grover

Lawyer for Shamima Kauser

(Mother of deceased Ishrat Jehan)
Vrinda Grover
Advocate

N14A, Saket
New Delhi 110017
91 9810806181

 

Justice Katju’s statement in Mangalore on Naveen Soorinje’s case


December 3, 2012, http://www.vartamaana.com/
– Justice Markandey Katju

I have been approached by many journalists in Mangalore about my views regarding criminal proceedings against Naveen Soorinje.

It will not be proper for me to make any comment about the particular case of Naveen Soorinje because I am informed that charge-sheet has been filed in a court and that the judicial proceedings are pending before judicial magistrate, and I am told that a petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C is pending before the High Court praying for quashing of the criminal proceedings. As such, since the matter is sub-judice both before the trial court and the High Court it will not be proper for me to comment about the particular case of Mr. Naveen Soorinje.

However, I am informed that in Mangalore journalists are often harassed by the police and also by the hooligans. I therefore make it clear that the Press Council will not tolerate violation of press freedom either by assaults on journalists or giving threats or in any other manner. Freedom of the press is a fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution and it is the duty of the State to uphold this right.

I therefore warn the authorities, which includes both political, administrative and police authorities that if they violate this press freedom by assaults or threats to journalists or in any other manner the Press Council will take strong action in this connection. In particular, the State Government of Karnataka through its Chief Minister is given a strong warning to uphold press freedom and to suppress the activities of hooligans or police personnel who violate fundamental rights of citizens, including the journalists.

The State Government is warned that if it does not protect journalists and uphold press freedom it will be deemed that the State Government is unable to run the Government in accordance with the Constitution, and then the legal consequences in Article 355 and 356 of the Constitution may follow. Article 356 (is invoked) when the President of India finds on the report of the Governor or otherwise that the State Government is unable to function in accordance with the Constitution. I am also part of “otherwise” and anybody can make a recommendation. Of course it is up to the President to accept it or not. Under Article 355 Central Government can issue a warning to the State Government asking it to run the Government in accordance with the Constitution failing which recourse may be had to Article 356.

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