The Press Council of India on Friday expressed concern over the alleged threat of criminal prosecution and questioning of an English daily journalist by the Delhi police and asked its commissioner to submit a report on the matter.
In a statement, the Press Council of India said it expresses its concern over alleged threat of criminal prosecution and questioning of a Special Correspondent of the Indian Express, by Delhi police in connection with a news report published in the paper on May 9, 2020.
Since the matter affects the free functioning of the press, while taking suo-motu cognizance of the matter, a report on facts of the case is being called for from the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, the Press Council of India said in a statement.
The PCI statement comes days after the Editors Guild of India had slammed the "egregious and high-handed action" action of the Delhi Police.
"On May 10, the Delhi Police sent a notice to Mahender Singh Manral, Special Correspondent, The Indian Express, through the City Editor and Chief Reporter, The Indian Express, requiring the journalist, who had reported that police investigations found the possibility of the audio clip of Tablighi Jamaat leader, Maulana Saad, being doctored, to join a probe on this matter on May 10," the Guild had said in a statement.
"While Manral wasn't charged under any law, he was threatened that failure to join the probe could result in legal action under Section 174 of the IPC with punishment of a prison term and fine," it had said.