Conference/Seminars/LecturesLaw School News

Session on “The Crossroads of Law & Journalism”

The HNLU Career Development Conclave 2022 is set to organise its Fifteenth session on the theme “The Crossroads of Law & Journalism” on 24th September, 2022. In this session, the welcome remarks will be given by Ms. HinaIliy as Assistant Professor, HNLU, Raipur

The welcome remarks shall be followed by hosting esteemed panel consisting ofMr. Tarun Nangia, Associate Editor (Special Projects), NewsX, Ms. Apoorva Mandhani, Principal Correspondent, The Print, Mr. Jeevan Prakash Sharma, Senior Assistant Editor, Outlook Magazine, Mr. Pavan Dahat, Former Journalist of Huffington Post & The Hindu, Mr. Nimitt Dixit, Legal Content Analyst, Reuters and Mr. Jinendra Parakh, Anchor, Vikas Ke Path Par, Doordarshan.

Mr. Nimit tand Mr. Jinendraare also alumni of HNLU from the under graduate batches of 2015 and 2017 respectively.

For more details about HNLU Career Development Conclave visit at:

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: Sanjay Dhar, J., quashed a defamation complaint filed against the Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, and journalist Aditya Raj Kaul. The Bench observed,

“The accused/anchors have only stated the obvious. Anyone who possesses even elementary knowledge of who is who of Jammu and Kashmir, can name the Minister who was holding portfolio of works during the period referred to in the letter of Shri Khalid Jahangir.”

Naeem Akhter, senior member of the J&K People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had filed the defamation complaint against the petitioner alleging that a defamatory and malicious news segment was broadcasted by the petitioners on 04-07-2021, pertaining to a letter written by one Khalid Jahangir, member of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) to the Governor, levelling allegations of corruption and favouritism on the complainant as regards award of tenders and functioning of the Corporation.

According to the complainant, even though the letter did not make a mention of name of any person, yet the petitioners, while reporting, deliberately and intentionally mentioned the name of complainant, thereby, publishing direct imputations against him with a mala fide intention to cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the complainant.

The Bench observed that it was not in dispute that the complainant was holding the portfolio of Works Minister in the coalition Government of PDP and BJP when Mr. Khalid wrote a letter to the then Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. The Bench opined though, the letter did not name the Works Minister, who was at the helm of affairs at the relevant time, the dates to which reference was made in the letter clearly suggested that the Works Minister, referred to in the letter, was none other than the complainant. Therefore, the accused had only stated the obvious. Hence, merely because accused/anchors mentioned the name of the respondent in the programme may not be enough to impute mens rea to the petitioners that they wanted to harm the reputation of the respondent.

The Bench stated that the fact the reporters kept emphasizing the fact that their source of information was the letter in question and they go on repeatedly telling the viewers about the charges/allegations with each caption carrying question mark(?), thereby conveying to the viewers that the allegations/charges contained in the letter are yet to be established, the petitioners had while telecasting the programme, taken due care that was expected of a responsible news channel.

Accordingly, the Bench held that the ingredients of main Section 499 RPC were not made out from the contents of the complaint and the material attached thereto because the imputations which had been published by the channel of the petitioners had not originated from them but the originator of these imputations was someone else i.e., Mr. Khalid Jahangir who had written a letter containing allegations against the respondent to the Governor which found its way into public domain. Thus, the complaint and the proceedings emanating there from were quashed. [Aditya Raj Kaul v. Naeem Akhter, CRMC No.58 of 2019, decided on 13-10-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

For the Petitioner: R. A. Jan, Sr. Advocate, with M/S: Rajat Pradhan &, Aswad Attar Advocates

For the Respondent: Jahangir Iqbal Ganai, Sr. Adv. with Humaira Shafi, Advocate

Hot Off The PressNews

In a press statement released on 26th September, the Editors Guild of India led by President Seema Mustafa, General Secretary Sanjay Kapoor and Treasurer Anant Nath, has expressed pain and anguish over hundreds of FIRs being filed against journalists of Republic TV. The said channel is being probed for allegedly manipulating TRPs and spreading discontent against the Mumbai Police.

Victimization of Journalists is Wrong

The Guild has emphasized that it does not wish to influence the probe by the authorities but the victimization of the journalists must stop.  Even if they recognize that the probe has potential to bring in much needed transparency on the issue of TRP manipulation and proceeds of crime, even then victimisation of journalists is not warranted.

Limits of Investigative Journalism being crossed

The Guild also expressed displeasure over Republic’s high-strung conduct covering the unfortunate demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, especially the harangue directed at actor Rhea Chakraborty. They said that the pertinent questions asked by the Bombay High Court to the channel, such as “Is this part of investigative journalism? Asking the public about their opinion on who should be arrested?” must be addressed by all media.  Also, they noted that the Court wondered whether the media was encroaching upon the domain of the police. Similar reservations about Republic’s conduct has been expressed even by the News Broadcaster’s association (NBA) that disagrees with it’s reporting.

Both Media and Police Should Act Responsibly

The police should ensure that media rights are not suppressed by arrest of journalists and the channel should ensure that collective credibility of media should not be affected and the safety of journalists are not compromised by such reporting. Right to free speech does not mean a licence to promote hate speech. It is important to maintain balance between media freedom and the imperative for it to reside within the rule of law.

Ed. Note: Bombay High Court has been wrongly identified as Mumbai High Court in the statement

*Associate Editor, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.