Central law to protect journalists on the anvil

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters here that he has already directed the Legislative Department to prepare a draft bill to protect journalists and their properties, such as cameras.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2011, 21:57 PM IST

New Delhi: Taking lessons from the murder of
investigative journalist J Dey in Mumbai recently, government
on Thursday said it was planning to bring a central law to protect
journalists.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told reporters here that he
has already directed the Legislative Department to prepare a
draft bill to protect journalists and their properties, such
as cameras.

"Dey`s murder is a matter of grave concern. We need to
have a sense of security among journalists," he said.

The Union minister said Maharashtra Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan had spoken to him recently on the issue.

"I am in touch with Information and Broadcasting Minister
Ambika Soni on the issue," he said adding that there was a
need to have fast track courts to deal with such crimes so
that justice can be delivered without much delay.

He said better equipped forensic labs and policemen with
better investigative skills were needed.

Chavan had yesterday said there was a broad consensus in
the state Cabinet on a law to protect journalists, but an
enabling provision needed to be included in it to address
complaints against the media as well.

The main provision of the draft bill is to make attacks on
journalists a non-bailable offence.

PTI