The Editors Guild of India formed a legal advisory panel constituting Kapil Sibal, Menaka Guruswamy, Shyam Divan, Sanjay Hegde, Rajiv Nayar, Prashant Kumar and Shahrukh Alam to work on issues relating to press freedom.
The Guild, which is also planning to expand the panel, said in its statement that it will help make responses to laws used by authorities to suppress media freedom.
“The panel will be expanded in the coming days to include more members of the legal fraternity from across different states, who have worked in the realm of freedom of expression and media related issues,” read the statement.
‘Deeply concerned’ about Patricia Mukhim
The Guild expressed its concerns over a case pertaining to a Facebook post by Patricia Mukhim, Editor of Shillong Times, who had condemned an attack on non-tribals youths in Meghalaya. Mukhim was arrested under IPC sections 153A/500/505C IPC (offences promoting disharmony and enmity between different groups as well as criminal defamation).
The statement, which said that the case was an example of how multiple legal provisions can be used against free press, came days after Mukhim resigned from the Guild as a sign of protest against its ‘selective discrimination’.
“The silence has been very troubling. Don’t go silent when a member is afflicted,” Mukhim told the Guild in a video message.