New Delhi: Sixty MPs belonging to various parties have given a privilege notice in Rajya Sabha seeking action against a daily newspaper and a weekly over publication of “false, fabricated and malicious” reports about the functioning of Rajya Sabha television, but the government advocated caution.
Raising the issue in the House, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and other members requested the Chair to accept the notice and ensure “punishment” to those responsible for publishing the news.
The notice has been signed among others by Azad, Deputy Leader of Congress Anand Sharma, Naresh Agrawal (SP), Javed Akhtar (nominated), Sharad Yadav (JD-U) S Thangavelu (DMK) and Baisahab Parida (BJD).
It seeks action against DNA newspaper and Tehelka news magazine.
Members from NCP, AIADMK, BSP, CPI-M, INLD, TMC have also signed it while none of the BJP members has signed backed it.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, however, advocated caution saying that all facts must be taken into consideration before a decision is taken whether to accept the notice or not.
“But I must tell the House that full facts of the case have not been brought before the House….Before we admit a motion, we have to take into account how it is going to damage the image of the House.
“My suggestion is that examine all the facts before you take a decision on the admission of the notice. Otherwise, we will be seen as encroaching upon the freedom of the media,” Naidu said adding that he was not aware of what was content of the notice.”
“Criticism of the content of a channel is not the criticism of the Chairman or the House, which has decided to have a channel,” Naidu said.
He recalled that while the House has passed the law to have a National Judicial Accountability Commission, criticism is happening on it as well.
Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien assured opposition members that all the facts will be examined. “The notice has already been given. That notice will be examined and will be dealt with as per law,” he said.
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