Mumbai: A cabinet sub committee consisting senior ministers will be formed to draft the law to protect journalists against violent attacks and speedy investigation and trial in the case of such attacks, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said on Wednesday.
On Saturday editor investigations of Mid-Day, a prominent city afternoon daily, Jyotirmoy Dey was murdered by unidentified gunmen in city’s eastern subarb Powai.
Saturday’s attack once again brought the issue of violent attacks on journalist in the line of duty to fore. In last two years, 175 incidents of attacks on journalist and news organizations offices were reported from the state.
Journalist organizations in the state are demanding special law against attacks on journalists and one of the main demand of the journalist orgnisations is to make attack on journalist non-bailable offense.
Although Chavan refused to give any deadline for preparation of draft, he said, “the government will try to introduce the Bill in the forthcoming monsoon session of the assembly”. He was speaking with media persons after the cabinet meeting.
There is broad consensus in the cabinet about bringing such law but there are apprehensions about journalist misusing their position to target elected representatives and bureaucracy. The sub-committee will also explore possibility of creating mechanism on the lines of Press Council of India at state level to address grievances against journalists, Chavan added.