‘PM orders a U-Turn’: Rahul Gandhi slams Narendra Modi over fake news row

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Updated: April 3, 2018 6:16:56 PM

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed PM Narendra Modi over his reported decision to roll back an Information & Brodcasting Ministry decision suggesting amendments to PIB Accreditation Guidelines.

“Sensing mounting anger on the “fake news” notification, the PM orders a U-Turn on his own order. One can clearly see a loss of control and panic setting in now,” Gandhi said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed PM Narendra Modi over his reported decision to roll back an Information & Brodcasting Ministry decision suggesting amendments to PIB Accreditation Guidelines. “Sensing mounting anger on the “fake news” notification, the PM orders a U-Turn on his own order. One can clearly see a loss of control and panic setting in now,” Gandhi tweeted.

Gandhi’s tweet was a scathing jibe at the prime minister after he nixed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s move to blacklist journalists for writing fake news. The Prime Minister’s office directed Smriti Irani-led Information and Broadcasting Ministry to leave the final decision on recent law on fake news on press body. In a move, which startled many, I&B ministry had amended guidelines for journalists’ accreditation on Monday and said if a journalist is found to have “created and/or propagated” fake news, her/his accreditation would be suspended or permanently cancelled. The new guidelines said the responsibility of determining whether a news item is fake or not would lie with the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association (NBA). Both these bodies regulate the print and TV media in the country.

The I&B release said, “Determination is expected to be completed within 15 days by these regulating agencies. Once the complaint is registered for determination of fake news, the correspondent or journalist whoever created or propagated the fake news will, if accredited, have the accreditation suspended till such time the determination regarding the fake news is made by the regulating agencies mentioned above,.”

As per the order, if any of the agencies, PCI or NBA, confirm the publication or telecast of fake news, the accreditation shall be suspended for a period of six months in the first violation, and for one year in the case of second violation, and in the event of third violation it would be cancelled permanently.

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