The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has expressed concern over the recent raids conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the residences and offices of the promoters of NDTV, a long standing member of the association.
The founders of NDTV, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, are accused of causing loss to a bank. Raids were conducted at four of their properties across Delhi and Dehradun.
The NBA in a statement released today said, “While the NBA maintains that no individual or institution is above the law, it condemns any attempt to muzzle the media and causing any interference in the free functioning of news operations. Such a move also undermines the basic tenets of free speech enshrined in the Constitution of India.”
The NBA expressed the hope that the CBI will not venture into concerted harassment of NDTV/its promoters, and must ensure fair and just investigation by adhering to equity, justice and good conscience.
Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India Today Group, also tweeted this afternoon in this regard. His tweet read, “I strongly believe that freedom of the media is inviolable in a democracy and any move to intimidate directly/indirectly is cause for alarm. Such a move also undermines basic tenets of free speech enshrined in the Constitution. I maintain none of us in media are above the law. Onus is on us to uphold highest journalistic standard of fairness, balance, integrity and exemplary benchmarks of corporate governance.”
Earlier this week, the Editors' Guild of India too expressed its deep concern over the raids. Their statement said, “Entry of police and other agencies into the media offices is a serious matter. NDTV, in various statements, has denied any wrongdoing and termed the raids as ‘stepping up the concerted harassment’ of the news channel and an attempt to ‘undermine democracy and free speech’ and ‘silence the media’.”
The Editors Guild of India statement was signed by Raj Chengappa, President, Prakash Dube, General Secretary and Kalyani Shankar, Treasurer.
NDTV, in its statement earlier, had dismissed these raids and accusations, calling them ‘witch hunt.’ The media house said in an official statement that “NDTV and its promoters will fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies.”