Kanojia, Kappan And Other Media V/S State Cases

Kanojia, Kappan And Other Media V/S State Cases

After spending a week in jail post arrest by the Mumbai Police, Arnab Goswami was granted relief by the Supreme Court today. With India’s Press Freedom Rank being as low as 142, there have been incidents of media being muzzled by different state governments in recent. Let us look at some of media v/s state cases.

Crux of the Matter

Siddique Kappan

  • Arrested by Uttar Pradesh police.
  • Arrested while he was on way to Hathras to cover the rape and murder of a Dalit teenager.
  • Charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – accused of “conspiring” against the state.
  • Not allowed to meet lawyers or family as alleged by his wife.

Prashant Kanojia

  • Arrested recently for alleged fake social media post about “Ayodhya’s Ram Temple”.
  • Recently released after 80 days in prison.
  • Also arrested in 2018 for allegedly sharing the video of a woman wanting to marry UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Asad Rizvi

  • Alleged assault by UP Police.
  • Incident occurred while Rizvi was covering Hathras protest.
  • Also alleged attempts by Police to damage his phone and equipment.

Sameet Thakkar

  • Arrested for “objectionable” comments against Aditya Thackeray – son of Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray.
  • Allegedly used the term ‘Baby Penguin’ in one of his tweets.

Pawan Kumar Jaiswal

  • Arrested after making a video of midday meal in Mirzapur.
  • Video showed children being provided only salt and roti (bread) for midday meal in Mirzapur district (Uttar Pradesh).
  • Arrested for “criminal conspiracy” and defaming State Government.

Media v/s State In Lockdown
Rights and Risk Analysis Group (RRAG) claims that 55 journalists were arrested or got FIRs between March 25 and May 31 during the lockdown. These arrests/FIRs were allegedly for their reporting on the Covid-19 situation in the nation.

As per a report of the Thakur Foundation:

  • Justice Chandrachud has consistently upheld that “Dissent is the safety valve of democracy”. He led the SC bench that granted Arnab Goswami bail after his arrest by Mumbai police saying, “If this court does not interfere today, we are travelling on the path of destruction.”
  • India ranked 142nd in the Press Freedom Index in 2020. Norway and Finland ranked 1st and 2nd respectively in the list.
  • Arnab Goswami has a Y level of security that includes round-the-clock protection from around 11 personnel and 1 or 2 armed commandos for close proximity protection.
  • Arnab’s father, Manoranjan Goswami is a retired Indian Army officer and a BJP member, who has contested as a BJP candidate in the general election, from Guwahati.
  • Prasar Bharti is India’s largest public broadcasting agency which comprises Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR).