It has also suggested that Government of India constitute an independent, national-level body to examine any complaints of misconduct by professional journalists, but with enough power and independence — like other respected national level bodies such as the Bar Council or the Insititute of Chartered Accountants of India – to act as deterrents against the abuse of power by any agency to restrict freedom. The NBF has mooted such a body to help professional journalists and media company employees who all professionals acting in public interest. (MediaBrief.com has reviewed a copy of the letter).
Stating that it is all for the law of the land to take its course in any genuine investigation, the NBF has cited what it believes are incidents of undue pressure upon journalists, news company employees and media company owners in some states. It has alleged that undue pressure is being brought to bear upon Republic TV, R Bharat and NewsLaundry in Maharashtra, and has also alleged similar conduct with OTV in Odisha and TV5 in Andhra Pradesh.
Home Minister Amit Shah, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar and Law & Justice Minister Ravishankar Prasad too were copied on the NBF’s letter to the Prime Minister.
NBF Secretary-General R Jai Krishna refused comment on its letter to the Prime Minister. However, after Arnab Goswami had been arrested, he had said that Goswami’s arrest by Mumbai police was shocking. He had described it as “a direct attack on the fourth pillar of democracy. This is sheer disrespectful, fascist and anarchist action against the Freedom of Expression and the press in the history of our country. We draw the urgent attention of Government of India to draw specific process to safeguard journalists who are being victimized for performing their professional duty.”