The owner and an editor of a news channel based out of Noida, Uttar Pradesh, have been today after the channel allegedly aired defamatory content against Chief Minister Adityanath.
This comes a day after the UP police arrested journalist Prashant Kanojia for uploading a video on Twitter in which a woman is heard making claims about having a relationship with Adityanath.
The channel, called Nation Live, allegedly broadcast a video of a woman who claimed she wanted to marry Adityanath.
Nation Live head Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla, the channel’s editor, were arrested for allegedly propagating defamatory content, according to reports.
The police registered an FIR under Sections 505 (1) (which relates to publication or circulation of statement, rumour or report with intent to incite), 501 (printing matter known to be defamatory) and 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot) at Noida Phase 3 police station.
“The police action is high-handed, arbitrary and amounts to an authoritarian misuse of laws,” the Editors’ Guild of India said in a statement.
The Guild sees it as an effort to intimidate the press and stifle freedom of expression, the statement said.
The first FIR is based on the journalist sharing on Twitter the video of a woman claiming a “relationship” with the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, it said.
The television channel had broadcast a video on the same issue, the Guild said.
“Whatever the accuracy of the woman’s claims, to register a case of criminal defamation against the journalists for sharing it on the social media and airing it on a television channel is a brazen misuse of law,” the Guild statement said.
To give the police powers to arrest, provisions of Section 66 of the IT Act have also been added, it said.