Chhattisgarh moves closer to journalist protection law, releases draft

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News:The Chhattisgarh government had set up a committee headed by Justice Aftab Alam to prepare a law for the protection of journalists.The committee has prepared a draft of the Chhattisgarh Protection of Media Persons Act which has now been made public for suggestions.

Facts:

Key features of the Draft bill:

  • The draft envisages a Register of Mediapersons for which an Authority for the Registration of Media Persons will be set up.It will include senior journalists and officials of the Department of Public Relations.
  • The draft also suggests the creation of a Committee for the Protection of Mediapersons within 30 days of the Act coming into force. 
  • It will be in the ambit of this committee to deal with complaints of harassment, intimidation or violence or unfair prosecution and arrests of mediaperson.
  • Under the committee,risk management units will be set up at the district level comprising the District Collector, district DPR officer, SP and two mediapersons from the district at least one of whom will be a woman. 
  • The draft makes it a duty of each member of risk management units to immediately inform the Collector or SP about any complaint or information of threat or harassment to persons in need of protection.
  • The draft also says that public servants who wilfully neglect duties under the Act could be given a jail term up to one year.