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EGI demands withdrawal of FIRs against Rajdeep Sardesai, other Journalists; condemns UP Police

Shashi Tharoor and Rajdeep Sardesai

Shashi Tharoor and Rajdeep Sardesai

The Editors Guild of India (EGI), on Friday, condemned the filing of police cases against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and journalists Mrinal Pande, Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod Jose, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath and Anant Nath, over the Republic Day violence in Delhi. 

 

The Editors Guild of India condemns the intimidating manner in which UP and MP police have registered FIRs against senior journalists, for reporting on farmers protests in Delhi on Jan 26. EGI finds these FIRs as an attempt to intimidate, harass, and stifle free media, EGI tweeted. 

 

It must be noted that on the day of the protest and high action, several reports were emerging from the eyewitnesses on the ground as well as from the police, and therefore it was only natural for journalists to report all the details as they emerged. This is in line with established norms of journalistic practice, the statement, signed by EGI President Seema Mustafa and General Secretary Sanjay Kapoor, read.

 

EGI, in their Press Statement also demanded the FIRs to be withdrawn immediately and the media be allowed to report without fear and with freedom.

 

The FIR was lodged at Sector 20 Police Station, following a complaint by a resident, who alleged that ?digital broadcast? and social media posts by these people were responsible for the violence during tractor rally on Republic Day.

 

Tharoor and other journalists have been booked under sections 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (Criminal Intimidation), 505(2) (Statements conducing to public mischief), 124-A (Sedition), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 120-B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

 

Meanwhile, India Today, on Thursday, also suspended senior Journalist and Anchor Rajdeep Sardesai for two weeks and deducted his one-month salary for a tweet saying that the farmer who was killed during tractor rally on Republic Day had died in police firing.

 

One person, 45-year-old Navneet killed allegedly in police firing at ITO. Farmers tell me: the sacrifice will not go in vain, Sardesais tweet, which was later deleted, read.

 

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Legal

Karnataka High Court says wearing hijab non-essential practice in Islam; upholds ban

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Radhika Dhawad | Bengaluru

Representational image

Representational image

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday upheld hijab ban by dismissing petitions filed by a section of Muslim students from the Government Pre-University Girls College in Udupi seeking permission to wear hijab inside classrooms.


The court upheld the state government ban by saying, The prescription of school uniforms is a reasonable restriction.


The court further said hijab was not an essential religious practice in Islam. However, the petitioners are likely to challenge the ban in the Supreme Court.


“Met my clients in Hijab matter in Udupi. Moving to SC soon In sha Allah. These girls will In sha Allah continue their education while exercising their rights to wear Hijab. These girls have not lost hope in Courts and Constitution,” lawyer Anas Tanwir wrote in a tweet.

The court was answering three key questions on the controversy namely:
1. Whether wearing hijab is an essential religious practice in Islamic faith protected under Article 25?
2. Whether prescription of school uniform is violative of rights
3. Whether government order on February 5 was issued without application of mind and manifestly arbitrary?


A three judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi delivered their verdict on the ongoing hijab controversy at 10.30 am today.


Ahead of the hijab row verdict, Section 144 was imposed in Bangalore and educational institutions remained closed.

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Legal

SC grants bail to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination convict AG Perarivalan jailed for 32 years

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Radhika Dhawad | New Delhi

Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday afternoon, granted bail to AG Perarivala, one of the seven convicts in former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.


However, the remission of his life imprisonment is pending before the President of India. AG Perarivala was serving life sentence and was jailed for almost 32 years.


As per the SC order, Perarivalan would have to follow the conditions of release and would have to report before the local police officer every month. 

Granting him bail, the court, in its order, said: Since Perarivalan has already undergone sentence for more than 30 years, we are of the considered view that he is entitled to bail in spite of the vehement opposition by the Additional Solicitor General Additional KM Nataraj.
On May 21, 1991, he was accused of purchasing an eight-volt battery used to trigger the belt bomb that killed Gandhi. Perarivalan was arrested when he was 19 and was sentenced to death in May 1999.

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Supreme Court to allow journalists inside courtrooms for physical hearing of cases

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Karan Pareek | New Delhi


The Supreme Court of India, on Thursday, October 21, resumed hearing of cases and pleas in the physical mode for the first time since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in India.
The Supreme Court has recently issued new SoPs for hybrid hearings as per which all cases on Wednesdays and Thursdays to be heard only in the physical presence of the counsels/parties in courtrooms.
Along with this, SC also decided to allow media persons inside the courtroom during the physical hearings. However, journalists would have to strictly adhere to COVID-19 related norms and protocols.
?With the physical hearing in the Supreme Court of India commencing tomorrow (Thursday, 21 October 2021), it has been decided to allow the media persons, subject to usual COVID restrictions, into the courtrooms for covering the proceedings,” said the top court in a press note.
Supreme Court heard cases through video conference since March last year due to the pandemic and several bar bodies and lawyers demanded that the physical hearings should be resumed immediately.

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