Several cases filed against fake journos, HC told

Responding to Madras High Court’s order to file the case details on fake journalists for blackmail and exploitation of businessmen, the State government on Tuesday submitted that officials were collecting details of many such cases from the districts, and sought time to file the report.
Representative image
Representative image

Chennai

A division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan, before whom the plea came up, directed the government to file the report on February 5. The court had earlier directed the State government to file a report on how many registered newspapers and magazines were there in the State, along with their circulation details. The bench made the observation on January 10 while hearing a PIL filed by Sekaran, who claimed to be a reporter, submitting that former Idol Wing chief Pon Manickavel had falsified data to get himself appointed as the Special Officer to probe the idol theft cases.

As the circulation details of the newspapers and magazines could be given only by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the court, suo motu, impleaded the bureau and directed it to submit details on the next hearing. The bench had said that there were many newspapers and magazines that had only limited circulation, adding that mainstream journalists were being sidelined due to that.

“If this court is convinced, we will constitute a special committee to look into the circulation of those magazines as well as newspapers, Income Tax paid by those persons from the date of their first publication, and the properties, assets and liabilities possessed by them to know as to whether they are genuine press persons or not, and their assets are in consonance with their known source of income,” the bench said.

Some of the journalists have impleaded themselves as parties to assist and enable the court in this case.

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