Journalists and lawyers must follow professional ethics-Says veteran advocate Shankar Bhat

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Mangalore, Jun 22: Addressing the workshop on ‘Media and Law’held on June 22,Saturday at press club veteran advocate Shankar Bhat said in his address that in order to be safe from the clutches of laws, journalist and lawyers must be up to date with current happenings and be meticulate with  their professional ethics ,these are the only two basic requirements, which governs journalists and advocates in their profession


Commenting on the journalists legal challenges often faced, Shankar Bhat said”Law is as factual as Science” and every citizen can enjoy the right of freedom of expression provided in the Indian constitution in article 19 and hurdles in many ways are part and parcel of journalists, while they abide by the law. Freedom of expression is being curtailed by article 19(2).


 Journalists have no special provision of freedom of speech and expression in the Constitution. The freedom of expression can be restricted for various reasons like sedition, defamation and contempt of court. “The Contempt of Courts Act was amended in 1971; in this Act the editor is more answerable to the court if the journalist or his writings interfere in the judicial proceedings or tend to scandalize the court or provide information about a case which is sub-judice.


The Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Representation of Peoples Act have restricted journalists from revealing the names of victims of sexual assault and juvenile victims. If the reporter fails to abide by the law, he has to face the consequences,” he said.


Commenting on the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act and Drug and Magic Remedies Act, Bhat said, “Unfortunately, today we can find many firms violating these Acts.  If any firm uses media to fool the people in the name of magic, action can be taken against that particular media organization.


 “Any journalist, who writes with an intention to harm the reputation of an individual without social concern, it will be considered as defamation. Though there is no particular parameter to define defamation, this can be solved by the law court or judge-made law process.

Ronald Anil Fernandez, senior reporter of Deccan Herald also spoke on the occasion.

Veenu Vinodh introduced the resource person, while P B Harish Rai welcomed and Ramakrishna, president of Press Club thanked.

P B Harish Rai, president of DK Working Journalists’ Union, Srinivas Nayak Indaje, secretary of DKWJU were present on the occasion.


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