Charged by Himachal Pradesh police with sedition for remarks made “against” prime minister Narendra Modi on a YouTube video, veteran broadcaster Vinod Dua tells the Supreme Court:
“I have freedom of speech and have the right to criticise the government. Till date, the police have refused to give us details on the nature of the complaint even though the Supreme Court had asked for a status report. When they could not do anything, they invoked the Disaster Management Act
“…I don’t have to answer the police as to why I criticised the government. For 45 years, I have been into responsible journalism. I enjoy constitutional protection. I am not obliged to give them any answer. They have also invoked the Disaster Management Act against me. The way I am being questioned and the kind of questions being asked amount to outright harassment.”
Read the full report: Police to journalist, ‘Why do you criticise the government?’
Indian Express reports that one of the questions HP police asked Vinod Dua about was the basis of his allegations against the Centre.
Dua answered that he had based it on a column written by Congress leader P. Chidambaram in The Indian Express.
Dua’s counsel Vikas Singh said the police then sent a supplementary questionnaire and asked why does Dua, with 45 years of experience in journalism, have to reply on what someone else says. “This is outright harassment,” he argued.
Screenshots: courtesy The Telegraph and The Indian Express