Jammu & Kashmir

HC quashes FIR against journalist, says no shackles can be placed on freedom of press

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday said that no shackles can be placed on freedom of the press by registering FIR against a reporter.

The court said that registration of an FIR against a journalist is an attack on freedom of the press and abuse of power by police.

The court observed this while quashing the FIR lodged by police against Journalist Asif Iqbal Naik.

Naik had filed a petition through Advocate Faheem Showkat Bhat seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him for a story he had filed under section 561-A CrPc in 2018 at police station Kishtwar.

The court in its judgment observed that the mode and manner in which the impugned FIR has been lodged clearly reflects the mala fide on the part of respondents as the respondents could have given their version by similar mode but they chose the unique method of silencing the Journalist and it is undoubtedly an attack on the freedom of the press.

The court said that the press is often referred to as the fourth pillar of democracy and freedom of the press is vital for the functioning of any democratic country like India.

“No fetters can be placed on the freedom of the press by registering the FIR against a reporter, who was performing his professional duty by publishing a news item on the basis of information obtained by him from an identifiable source.”

Pertinently, an FIR was lodged against Journalist Asif Iqbal Naik who is working at ‘Early Times’ at Police Station Kishtwar after he filed a story about a man who had been tortured by police inside a police station. (KNT)

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