Guwahati: The Shillong Press Club in an emergent Google Meet convened on Wednesday has expressed deep concern at the tone and tenor of the HNLC statement which accused the press for not publishing the proscribed outfit’s bandh calls and obeying an order of the Meghalaya High Court in this regard.
The Full Bench consisting of Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice T Nandakumar Singh and Justice SR Sen in its order dated May 27, 2015, specifically pronounced, “Hence, we direct that the statements of HNLC or any organization which may disturb the even tempo of day-to-day public life and cause violation of Fundamental rights of citizens in particular under Article 19 and 21 of the 12 Constitution of India relating to strike, Bandh, Hartal, Road Blockade and holding of Rallies with unlawful design shall not be issued by any of the print and electronic media. In case of violation of this order, the Court may not only proceed under the Contempt of Courts Act, but it is also directed that the State Government shall register criminal cases under appropriate provisions of the law.”
The members were categorical in reminding all that while freedom of expression applies to the journalist as well, obedience to the law of the land in letter and spirit is also an absolute responsibility.
‘As journalists, it is our duty to first obey the law of the land and for that matter the universal law of the world and humankind which abhors violence and senseless criminal acts while discharging our professional duties,’ a release stated.
The Shillong Press Club also draw the attention of the Meghalaya High Court towards this recent event and sincerely implores upon it to comprehend the threat apprehension that the working journalist now has because of such an intimidating statement; and perhaps conceive a permanent solution to this prickly but sensitive matter.
“The journalist fraternity of Meghalaya stands firm in solidarity with one another and will continue to endeavour to serve the peace loving people of the state in the best possible manner it can, despite the many challenges and stumbling blocks throughout the journey,” the SPC said.