Won't rest until AP govt recalls 'draconian' order issued against media, says Chandrababu Naidu

South India
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AMARAVATI: Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday criticised the state government over its order providing power to the secretaries of government departments to sue media houses with regard to the publication of false, baseless and defamatory news items.

Citing the Press Council of India statement, Naidu tweeted that he will continue to raise the issue at all platforms and not rest until the government recalls it.
"Press Council of India moving a Suo-Moto on the draconian GO 2430 is a tight slap on the face of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's government which wants to harass journos and people voicing concerns on social media. We will continue to raise the issue at all platforms and not rest until the government recalls it," Naidu tweeted.
Earlier, the Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad had expressed grave concern over the order issued by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government granting permission to the Secretaries of respective departments to initiate legal action with regard to the publication of false, baseless and defamatory news items against the print media through the public prosecutor.
"The Chairman is of the view that the threat to prosecute media personnel, in general, shall demoralise the journalists in large which shall have a severe bearing on the freedom of the press. Not only this the problems which the order in question seek to redress can very well be remedied by the Council itself". The statement added, "While taking suo-motu cognisance of the issue, the Chairman has directed the government of Andhra Pradesh through its Chief Secretary and Special Commissioner (I&PR) to file reply statement in this matter", the PCI had said in a statement.
On October 30, the Andhra Pradesh Government had issued an order delegating powers to the secretaries of respective departments to lodge complaints and file appropriate legal cases through public prosecutor against false, baseless and defamatory news items published, telecast or posted in print, electronic and social media.
This was the advancement of the government order number 938 released in 2007, which empowered I&PR Commissioner to lodge a complaint and file defamation cases against publishers and editors. Now the same powers are extended and delegated to the secretaries of respective departments.
 

With inputs from ANI
Image Credit: The New Indian Express
 

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