Monday, 22 June 2015

Freedom of Press curtailed by Andhra Pradesh police

Andhra Pradesh Police has served a notice to the Telugu TV news channel ‘T News’, on 19th June allegedly for airing an audio tape that dragged the name of A.P. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu into the sensational cash-for-vote case. The incident triggered widespread protest among the journalists in Telangana on 20th June, whereby they expressed their solidarity with the channel by condemning the AP police and describing it as ‘attack on the freedom of press’.
The notice issued under provisions of Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act to the Chief Executive Officer of the channel, M. Narayan Reddy ,said airing of the audio tape ‘disturbed public tranquillity and developed feelings of enmity in different political groups and Telugu-speaking people’ of AP and Telangana.
The T-News Director, Gandra Mohan Rao said the channel would send its reply to the notice by post stating that the Act was not applicable to channels but only to cable operators. He also said that the channel would, in turn, issue notices to the Assistant Commissioner of Police to explain execution of an authority which is not vested in him. “We will also claim damages from the ACP for serving the notice without jurisdiction”.
Seeking an explanation as to why an action should be taken against the channel, Reddy said, it is the duty of the media to expose corruption and the channel just did the same.
Advocates taking up the cause of the channel filed complaints in the local Banjara Hills and Saroornagar police stations against Mr. Naidu, Director General of Police of AP J.V. Ramudu and other officials of the State.


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