Gover­nor of­fice de­fends plaint against ed­i­tor

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI -

DE­FEND­ING its com­plaint against Tamil mag­a­zine Nakkheeran ed­i­tor RR Gopal and his em­ploy­ees, Raj Bha­van on Fri­day is­sued a state­ment deny­ing all al­le­ga­tions made in news re­ports.

In the state­ment, the of­fice of Gover­nor Ban­war­i­lal Puro­hit ac­cused the mag­a­zine of “yellow jour­nal­ism” or sen­sa­tion­al­ism and said there was no con­nec­tion be­tween him and the col­lege pro­fes­sor ac­cused in the case.

The Raj Bha­van also said that “it is a mat­ter of hu­mour to say that press free­dom is be­ing threat­ened on the count, of ac­tion, be­ing taken un­der the law af­ter much pa­tience and tol­er­ance to stop a slan­der­ous, vul­gar, and cow­ardly way of at­tack­ing the first cit­i­zen of the State. “The state­ment given by her [Nir­mala Devi] be­fore the po­lice will it­self bear out the truth,” the state­ment said.

The Raj Bha­van said it was main­tain­ing a dig­ni­fied si­lence for more than six months as the law was tak­ing its own course and the mat­ter was be­fore the court for trial.

Chen­nai Po­lice on Tues­day ar­rested Gopal based on Raj Bha­van’s com­plaint. How­ever, the court or­dered his re­lease. The court also asked why po­lice tried to charge Gopal un­der Sec­tion Crit­i­cis­ing the mag­a­zine for poor jour­nal­is­tic ethics, the Raj Bha­van said Devi had never en­tered the Raj Bha­van in the last one year and “she does not have any ac­quain­tance with the Hon­ourable Gover­nor or any of the Of­fi­cers work­ing in the Raj Bha­van”. The Raj Bha­van also dis­missed al­le­ga­tions of Puro­hit vis­it­ing the guest house of the Madu­rai Ka­ma­raj Univer­sity. “It can only be a deep sense of ha­tred towards good­ness and truth that could have driven any journalist to have writ­ten the ar­ti­cles,” the state­ment said

124 IPC, which dealt with as­sault on Pres­i­dent or Gover­nor with in­tent to com­pel or re­strain the ex­er­cise of any law­ful power. It also ques­tioned why he was ar­rested now for an ar­ti­cle pub­lished in April. Nir­mala Devi and V Mu­ru­gan, two fac­ulty mem­bers of Madu­rai Ka­ma­raj Univer­sity were ar­rested in April for al­legedly lur­ing stu­dents to pro­vide sex­ual favours to se­nior var­sity of­fi­cials.

The state­ment is­sued by the joint di­rec­tor (PR) also said that “No threats di­rect or in­di­rect on a con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity as the Hon­ourable Gover­nor The state­ment said a com­plaint was reg­is­tered as the Gover­nor’s of­fice was hurt by the con­tin­u­ous base­less slan­der. “It was in­deed shock­ing to see a resur­fac­ing of yellow jour­nal­ism in an is­sue of the mag­a­zine Nakkheeran in late Septem­ber af­ter the charge sheets had been filed and all in­ves­ti­ga­tion com­pleted,” the state­ment said adding that those who claimed to have un­der­taken in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism had not even both­ered to ver­ify the ac­tual state­ment given by NIr­mala Devi to the po­lice

will be tol­er­ated” and claimed that Raj Bha­van, “can and will never be cowed down by ac­tions aimed at hurt­ing the dig­nity of the High Of­fice”.

The three-page state­ment did not how­ever, ad­dress wide­spread crit­i­cism of the Raj Bha­van’s in­sis­tence on in­vok­ing Sec­tion 124 IPC. The state­ment said a com­plaint was given hav­ing been hurt by the con­tin­u­ous base­less slan­der. “It was in­deed shock­ing to see a resur­fac­ing of yellow jour­nal­ism in an is­sue of the mag­a­zine Nakkheeran in late Septem­ber af­ter the charge sheets had been filed.”

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