Press Council directed 3 News Papers to publish clarification

New Delhi, 24 March 2014: The Inquiry Committee of the Press Council of India directed three news papers today to publish the statements of NIA and IB, while disposing the Complaints filed by Popular Front of India against these news papers for publishing the defamatory news item, which were maligning the image and reputation of the organization.

After the organization shifted its headquarters from Bangalore to Delhi in 2011, some Hindi, English and Urdu news papers published defamatory news against Popular Front that it was a terrorist organization and due to the shifting of office to Delhi, the capital was under security threat. The defamatory news had also linked the organization with few bomb blasts.

Of the ten complaints, seven were decided on 15th November 2013 by the Council headed by Justice Markandey Katju and directed the newspapers to publish the clarification of the Popular Front and the Press needs to be more careful while publishing the name of the any organization and alleging their involvement in Terror activities.

The rest of the three complaints, which are pending against The Asian Age English Daily (Delhi), The Sunday Guardian English Weekly (Delhi) and The Pioneer (Delhi), their counsels argued that the news were published based on the information provided by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). So, Justice Katju sent notice to NIA and IB to clarify their stand.

Subsequently, on 16th December 2013, NIA and IB were filed their statements before the Inquiry Committee, in which NIA was stated, “On no occasion NIA has shared any such thing with the media” and IB was stated “No such observation/comments were made by IB to these news papers about Popular Front”.

These three complaints came up for hearing today. After hearing both sides, the Inquiry Committee directed the news papers to publish the clarification and also to publish the statements of NIA and IB.

The Advocates Bahar U Barqi (Delhi), Maroof Ahamed (Delhi), K.P. Mohamed Shareef (Kerala) and A. Mohamed Yusuff (Tamilnadu), Saipan A Sheik (Pune) have been representing Popular Front of India in the Press Council.

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