HC clears the way for CPI-M’s mouthpiece, publication resumes

Written by CJP | Published on: October 11, 2018

The newspaper’s publication was halted from October 1 after an order from the West Tripura District Magistrate. CPI-M leaders believe political motivations behind halt of publication.


CPIM Letter
 
Agartala: Tripura High Court cleared the way for Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) mouthpiece Daily Desher Katha on Wednesday. The Bengali newspaper resumed its functions on Thursday after being halted on Oct 1. The HC issued a stay order on a previous order by a local administration which halted its publication.
 
The order was issued by Tripura High Court Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Rastogi.
 
“In August, a complaint was registered against Daily Desher Katha for allegedly violating the Press and Registration of Books Act. The complainant had alleged that there was a mismatch between the information of editor, printer and publisher provided in the newspaper's declaration and data maintained with the RNI, among other issues,” reported NDTV.
 
“The daily, which had previously declared itself as a mouthpiece owned by the CPM Tripura state committee, changed its ownership declaration as a newspaper published from Daily Desher Katha Society a few months before the new BJP-Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) coalition came to power in March,” the report said.
 
The newspaper’s publication was halted from October 1 after an order from the West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep Namdeo Mahatme and Sadar Sub-Divisional Magistrate. On October 7, the newspaper authorities filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI)’s decision to withdraw its registration.
 
CPI-M leaders were of the view that the complaint and subsequent legal procedure was politically motivated.
 
“The party mouthpiece’s counsel BR Bhattacharjee on Wednesday also alleged that West Tripura District Magistrate’s order was made under political influence. He claimed it was an attack on freedom of the press and an assault on the fundamental rights of citizens. ‘Daily Desher Katha applied before RNI to change its ownership details in 2015. The process was not completed due to red tapes in bureaucracy. But after fresh papers were submitted, RNI approved the revised details of the editor, printer and publisher on October 1. DM and SDM issued a notice outside their jurisdiction on the same day and wrote to RNI to cancel the newspaper’s registration. This can’t be done without political intervention,’ Bhattacharjee said in a report by Indian Express.