Following Newsclick raid by ED, sixteen media organizations have sent a letter to Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, urging him to intervene before it’s too late. The letter follows home raids that resulted in the seizure of journalists’ laptops and cell phones and the seizing of other professionals working at or belonging to the news portal NewsClick.The letter calls for the judiciary to create rules to discourage the seizure of journalists’ phones and laptops on impulse, guidelines for questioning journalists, and ensure transparency of state departments. The letter also calls for the higher judiciary to stop investigative organizations’ use against the press, which has become increasingly repressive.
After Newsclick raid media organizations write to CJI with the statement, “Journalism can’t be…”
Following searches of the journalists and other professionals working for or affiliated with NewsClick, 16 media organizations wrote to the CJI requesting guidelines on questioning journalists.
Journalism cannot get convicted as “terrorism”
In a letter sent to Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on Wednesday, 16 media organizations pleaded with him to “take immediate consideration and interfere before it is too late” because journalism cannot get convicted as “terrorism.”
The letter calls for the judiciary to get involved and create rules
The letter follows home raids that resulted in the seizing of journalists’ laptops and cell phones as those of other professionals who work at or belong to the news portal NewsClick. It calls for the judiciary to get involved and create rules “to discourage the seizure of journalists’ phones and laptops on an impulse, as happened in this case.”
The government is facing bakclash after recent action of Newsclick raid by ED.
In order “to guarantee that these don’t happen as fishing excursions with no connection to an actual offense,” it calls for guidelines for questioning journalists and seizing information from them.
Guarantee the transparency of state departments
Last but not least, the letter requests that the court consider “discovering methods to guarantee the transparency of state departments and individual officers who end up surpassing regulations or deliberately deceiving tribunals with vague and unrestricted inquiries against journalists for their journalistic work.”
List of the organizations
Several organizations and individuals signed the letter, including Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists, Brihanmumbai Union of Journalists, Chandigarh Press Club, Delhi Union of Journalists, Digipub News India Foundation, Foundation for Media Professionals, Free Speech Collective Mumbai, Guwahati Press Club, Indian Press Corps, Indian journalists Union, Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Mumbai Press Club, National Alliance of Journalists, Network of Women in Media (India), Press Association, and Press Club of India New Delhi.
The higher judiciary must now step in : Organizations demand from CJI after Newsclick Raid
The letter claims that the higher judiciary must now step in to stop investigative organizations’ use against the press, which has become increasingly repressive.
Delhi Police’s Special Cell executed a home search
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police conducted a home search on October 3 of 46 journalists, editors, writers, and professionals who “seemed connected in some manner or another to the online news portal, NewsClick,” according to the report.
The Delhi Police then detained NewsClick’s editor-in-chief, Prabir Purkayastha, and human resources director Amit Chakravarty in connection with a new case brought against the news portal on Tuesday by strict provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).