Press Council Seeks Action In Iftikhar Gilani’s Case

KL Desk


Press Council of India Chairman has sought action from central government in case of arresting senior journalist Iftikhar Gilani on Saturday. In a letter issued to the union home secretary, Justice Markandey Katju has sought immediate charge-sheeting of the Delhi Police personnel involved besides initiating a formal case and compensation to the senior journalist.

Here follows the contents of the notice that Justice Katju has issued on Sunday:

“I am forwarding to you an email I have received from Mr Iftikhar Gilani, Asst. Editor DNA, who is a Government of India accredited journalist and former Vice President of the Press Association.

I have carefully perused the email he has sent me and I have also read the news item in the front page of today’s The Hindu newspaper. They reveal great high handedness and outrageous behaviour by the Delhi policemen concerned in harrassing and tormenting Mr Gilani and his family, including his small children. These were the undemocratic and abhorrent methods of the Gestapo during Nazi rule.

If these allegations are correct, the concerned police officers, who committed these high-handed illegal acts, as well as those higher ups who were instrumental in ordering these shameful and odious acts are prime facie guilty of serious crimes under sections 341/342, as well as other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and are also guilty of gross and blatant abuse of their powers.

Hence, if the allegations in the email of Mr Gilani are correct, I call upon you to do the following acts within 48 hours :

    (i) immediately charge sheet and place under suspension all police officers responsible for these high handed and illegal acts including those higher ups who gave the orders for them

    (ii) immediately institute criminal proceedings against such officers under the relevant provisions of IPC and other statutes.

    (iii) immediately sanction adequate and suitable compensation to Mr Gilani and his family and convey an apology to him

    (iv) I am informed that Mr. Gilani is still being harassed and surveillance is being done on him and his family. This is a clear violation of the decision of the Supreme Court in Kharak Singh Vs State of UP and other  AIR 1963 S.C.1295,1964 SCR (1) 332, as well as violation of the right to privacy , which has been held to be part of Art 21 of the Constitution of India. Police surveillance seriously encroaches upon privacy of the petitioner and his fundamental rights under Art 21 vide 1999 (24) All Cr. R. 815 (817): 1999 (11).

I may mention that in the Nuremburg Trials held in after the Second World War the Nazi War Criminals took the plea that orders are orders, and that they were only obeying the orders of their superior Hitler. This plea was rejected by the International Tribunal which held that those orders were illegal orders and hence should have been disobeyed. Consequently many of the accused were hanged.

Hence all policemen in India are hereby warned that they should not carry out illegal orders of their superiors otherwise they will be charged for serious crimes, and if found guilty, severely punished.


Justice Markandey Katju

Chairman, Press Council of India”

As already reported, Gilani was asked by cops to guide them to Syed Ali Geelani’s flat. There, he was literally dragged in and kept in virtual arrest. Later his wife was also made to join them. He was set free only after 3 pm when his office intervened.



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