IJA lauds Maharashtra Govt. bill to protect media

Shri Devendra Fadnavis,
Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Government of Maharashtra

Respected Shri Devendra Fadnavisji,

We, the Indian Journalists Association (IJA), the premier organization
of media persons in West Bengal which was established in 1922,
congratulate you for moving a Bill in the Maharashtra Assembly and
getting it passed unanimously to protect the media persons and media
houses from attack.

Thus Maharashtra has become the first State in the country to enact a
Bill to protect journalists by passing the landmark Maharashtra
Mediapersons and Media Institutions Bill on April 7, 2017.

According to provisions of the Bill, all offences registered under the
Act will be cognizable and non-bailable and anyone who commits or
attempts to commit or abets or instigates or provokes the commission
of any act of violence in the contravention of the law, will face up
to three years in jail and/or fine up to Rs 50,000. In addition, the
offender shall be liable to pay compensation for damage or loss caused
to property as may be determined by the court and also be liable to
reimburse medical expenditure incurred by the mediaperson. If the
compensation is not paid, it shall be recovered as if it were arrears
of land revenue, a report in the media said.

The Bill also provides relief if a mediaperson misuses the provisions
of the Act or makes a false complaint for which he will face up to
three years in jail and/or fine upto Rs.50,000.

We also welcome this provision in the Bill against its misuse by media persons.

We sincerely thank you for taking a bold step to ensure the protection
of the media thereby protecting the freedom of the press which is very
vital in safe guarding our democratic system.

With best regards,

Sekhar Sengupta