Vijayawada: Brushing aside criticism from various quarters, the YSRC government in on Wednesday issued a Government Order empowering secretaries of all departments to file cases in appropriate courts against ‘false news’ published or carried by media houses, including social media platforms.
The decision had been taken by the Cabinet a fortnight ago and was met with widespread criticism since it amounts to gagging the media.
‘Instances have come to the notice of the government that certain print, electronic and social media are deliberately trying to tarnish the image of government and government officials by spreading false, baseless and defamatory news with malafide interest. In order to see that true and correct information reaches to people, Government, vide G.O. Rt. No. 938 GA (Poll.D) Dett., dt.20-02-2007 has empowered the special commissioner, I&PR to file cases under appropriate Sections of the law. However, it is felt that departmental secretaries with thorough knowledge of the affairs of their respective departments and also having powers and wherewithal to order inquiries to establish the veracity of news reports / posts in print, electronic and social media are better placed to issue rejoinders, file complaints and lodge appropriate cases.