Features Saturday, January 10, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| January 4, 2015| 7.00 pm IST​ Malayalm actor Dileep has served a legal notice to Times of India for publishing 'negative news without verifying the facts'. He has also sought Rs. 50 crore as damages from the newspaper. He says that such news is being done by the newspaper to secure itself a place in Kerala’s newspaper market. He further said that newspaper did not display the basic decency that a newspaper should have shown. The actor has asked the newspaper to respond within ten days of the receipt of the notice. The issue pertains to the publication by the newspaper details of an affidavit that was filed by an advocate in the High Court of Kerala alleging that the land in East Chalakkudy where the actor has built a theatre belongs to the government and that it is permitted to be used only by the members of the royal family of Cochin. Since the matter is subjudice it is for the court to look into the facts of the case and decide. Meanwhile, a serious question emerges on the conduct of the actor in this issue. The News Minute's take How does sending a legal notice to a newspaper which published the news become justifiable? It is the duty of news organizations to report issues what happen. In this case, the newspaper had only reported the news that a lawyer had filed an affidavit citing certain reasons. This is similar to what happens in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. There, both the state government and other political parties goes on a witch hunt by sending legal notices to all such news organizations that publish any report that shows the government or its leaders in bad light. In October 2014, the Supreme Court , while hearing a similar case filed by J. Jayalalithaa against Dr. Subramanian Swamy, had sent notices to the Union and Tamil Nadu state government for scrapping the provisions of criminal defamation under penal laws as it laid unreasonable restrictions on people’s right to free speech and expression. What happens in the case filed against the actor is one thing, but the trend of sending legal notices for libel to news organizations for merely publishing news is a dangerous trend.​ Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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