Editors Guild of India has condemned the ‘use of intimidatory tactics by powerful corporate houses’ after a court in Gujarat issued an arrest warrant against journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in a defamation case filed by the Adani Group.
The statement by the Editors Guild of India read, “The issue of a non-bailable warrant by a lower court against Mr. Thakurta is another example of how intolerant the business houses have become to any criticism. Routinely they have targeted independent and intrepid journalists by using the very instruments that provide media the necessary protection.”
This was after a court in Kutch in Gujarat issued an arrest warrant on 19 January against journalist Thakurta in connection with a 2017 defamation suit filed by the Adani Group. The defamation case filed by the Adani Group pertains to an article that Thakurta had co-authored for a website. The said article had accused the Narendra Modi government of amending Special Economic Zone rules to facilitate duty reimbursements for raw materials to Adani Power Limited, leading to a benefit of Rs 500 crores.
The statement by the Guild added, “The Editors Guild is disturbed on how the judiciary, in this case, has become a part of this exercise to muzzle free press. Criminal defamation laws are often used by those in power to suppress any scrutiny by the media.”
According to news agency PTI, Adani Group had withdrawn complaints against everybody, including the editor but not against the author.