Speakers at Press Club of India meeting unequivocally criticised the frequent use of defamation as a means of stifling and threatening the media.
“If information on the affairs of close relatives of powerful politicians is to be withheld by the media, the only result will be the secrecy of power that will spawn all manner of corruption,” say the DUJ and NAJ.
A fortnightly column from The Wire’s public editor.
“The IFJ is concerned over the misuse of the criminal defamation to harass journalists and media to stop them for investigating matters of public interest and publication of critical stories.”
Like the New York Times v. Sullivan case fifty years ago, The Wire defamation case too is about the “breathing space” of free speech, criticism and truth.
Even when SLAPPs are of uncertain merit, they immensely damage prospects of free journalism, fierce criticism and accountability of power.
Judge was told senior advocate S.V. Raju could not be present as he was busy in the high court.