The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Public Prosecutor to ask the police to investigate and find out the persons who are holding fake press identity cards and take criminal action if they are found to be misusing the name of Government of India under the relevant act.
A Division Bench comprising Justices N. Kirbukaran and P Velmurugan noticed that fake press identity cards have been issued in the name of 'All India Anti Corruption Press, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India'. The court noted that about 100 press identity cards have been issued under the said name.
Earlier, on 10 January 2020, this bench had taken suo moto notice of the issue of 'fake journalist' and sought responses from the Tamil Nadu Government, Press Council of India and various journalists' bodies on means to tackle the problem. The bench took notice of the issue while hearing a writ petition seeking a proper investigation in the idol theft case.
When Mr. E. Manoharan, the Special Government Pleader submitted that they could not find any such body in the name of 'All India Anti Corruption Press, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India' even after search, the court said that search is not necessary as the name itself proves that it is a fake press body.
Further, the court noted that in the affidavit filed by the fifth respondent (Government), it has been stated that there are 226 Journalists Associations registered in Tamil Nadu. The court also noted that there are 204 cases registered against the journalists throughout the State on the basis of an additional status report filed by the first respondent.
The bench posted the matter on 12.02.2020 directing all the respondents to file their counter and the details sought for on the next hearing.
Click here to download order