Chennai: Terming the arrest of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi in Mumbai a "serious criminal offence", Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju Monday said politicians and police officials behind it should be instead arrested and tried.
"Because under Section 342 of the PIC, wrongful arrest and confinement are serious criminal offences....If you are arresting a person who has not committed a crime, then you are committing a crime. So, these politicians and these police officers should be arrested and made to face trial," he said while delivering a lecture on `Self Regulation in Electronic Media in India` at Anna University here.
Earlier, Katju, a former Superme Court judge, had said that the cartoonist did nothing illegal.
Trivedi was arrested on Saturday on sedition and other charges following a complaint that he had put up banners mocking the Indian Constitution during the Anna Hazare rally held last year in Mumbai and had also uploaded obscene content on his website.
He was produced in a Mumbai court on Sunday which sent him to police custody till September 16.
He was sent to jail today after a local court remanded him to two-week judicial custody as police submitted that their investigations in the case were over and his custodial interrogation was not needed.
Katju also lamented that there was "no freedom for press" in Bihar and claimed that though there was no physical assault on journalists, those who write against the state government were dismissed or transferred to remote area.
"There is no freedom of press in Bihar. Although that was my tentative view, I have set up a fact finding committee, which is likely to submit its report by the end of this month," he said.