India Doesn't Need Lessons on Press Freedom, CBI Tells NYT
Days after a New York Times editorial termed the CBI raids at homes and offices connected to NDTV founders as an “alarming new level of intimidation of India’s news media under Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, the CBI has rebutted the allegation saying that “India does not require any lesson on freedom of the press from The Times”.
File photo of New York Times Building in New York. (Representative image/Reuters)
New Delhi: Days after a New York Times editorial termed the CBI raids at homes and offices connected to NDTV founders as an “alarming new level of intimidation of India’s news media under Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, the CBI has rebutted the allegation saying that “India does not require any lesson on freedom of the press from The Times”.
“The editorial gives the impression that action is not being taken against other big loan defaulters and that the raids on NDTV’s founders were a part of a “vendetta” against the broadcaster. The editorial is one-sided and doesn’t consider the investigation history of the case against RRPR Holdings, the holding company of NDTV, by different tax and law enforcement agencies in India since 2011,” wrote RK Gaur, CBI spokesperson, in the response published in the NYT.
The investigative agency said the ICICI Bank’s loss is merely the tip of the iceberg. It said RRPR Holdings is also being investigated for irregularities in the mobilisation of funds used for loan repayment and there have also been serious defaults in tax payment.
“India has a robust and independent judiciary that strongly protects democratic freedom and that an aggrieved person can always approach. India does not require any lesson on freedom of the press from The Times. Our institutions and traditions are nurtured by our rich and diverse cultural heritage and democratic ethos,” the CBI statement added.
On June 5, the CBI searched the residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy in Delhi and three other locations for allegedly causing losses to a private bank, a move termed by NDTV as a "witch-hunt" based on "same old" false accusations, PTI reported.
The agency had registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing losses of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank, PTI had quoted CBI sources as saying.
The agency also conducted searches at four places in Delhi and Dehradun.
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