Refusing to interfere with the Jharkhand High Court’s order granting interim bail to News 11 Bharat journalist Arup Chatterjee, the Supreme Court has slammed the Jharkhand government for its treatment of media workers, Live Law reported.
Chatterjee was arrested from his home in Ranchi at midnight on July 17. His wife moved the high court alleging that the arrest was carried out in violation of the due process of law. Later that month, the high court granted interim bail to the journalist, noting that he had been arrested without following procedure under relevant sections of the CrPC.
Considering the Jharkhand government’s petition against the high court’s order, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli took note of the disregard for the code of conduct. “See, how the state of Jharkhand is harassing a journalist. This is an excess of state power,” Chandrachud said. “You go to his house at 12 o'clock at night, pull him out of his bedroom...This is no way to treat a journalist. This is complete lawlessness.”
The police had held Chatterjee on charges of extortion, blackmail and criminal conspiracy after a businessman named Rakesh Kumar accused Chatterjee’s channel of broadcasting fake news against him. Kumar also alleged that the journalist had tried to extort Rs 11 lakh from him.
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