The AAP government in Delhi has asked all its officials to lodge a complaint with the principal secretary (Home) if they come across any news item which damage the reputation of the chief minister or the government, so that further action can be taken.
According to a circular issued by the directorate of information and publicity department, if any officer associated with the Delhi government feels that the published or aired news item damages his or the government's reputation, he should file a complaint with the principal secretary (Home).
"In such case, a reference letter will be sent to the principal secretary (Home) containing details of the defamatory imputation published, the mode of publication, factual inaccuracy, details of allegations made and ground for believing that it will harm the reputation of the person against whom the imputation has been made," a senior officer said.
According to the official, the principal secretary (Home) will then examine the matter and will also seek the opinion of the director (prosecution) as to whether the prosecution under section 499/500 of the IPC is to be launched.
If as per the opinion of the director (prosecution), offence of defamation is made out the principal secretary will refer the matter to the law department for examining the matter and obtain the sanction of under section 199(4) of the CrPc.
After the sanction of the government is obtained, the home department will forward the case to the public prosecutor for making a complaint under Section 199(2) of the CrPc.
The move comes just a few days after Delhi government issued order for close monitoring of all news channels.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP strongly condemned the circular brought out by the Arvind Kejriwal government threatening action against media.
BJP said that the circular is the "result of repeated exposures by media of the Kejriwal government's misdeeds".
This is another proof of "anarchist, authoritarian approach" of the Arvind Kejriwal government, the party said.
Even the Congress has slammed Kejriwal's order. " This is not only an attack on media, but also democracy," said Congress leader Ajay Maken.
Kejriwal's latest threat and gag order is- 'VIRTUAL CENSORSHIP' pic.twitter.com/vQeB8pISgP
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) May 10, 2015
In the past, Kejriwal had claimed that there is a "conspiracy to finish off the AAP" among a "very large" section of the media. He even went ahead demanding a "public trial" of the media .Kejriwal had accused the media of taking bribes to target the AAP. He added that if any news channel is airing a factually incorrect matter, it should undergo a public trial.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 10, 2015 14:42:27 IST