Taking suo motu cognizance of the way the media had covered actor Rhea Chakraborty in connection to the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the Maharashtra State Commission for Women plans to reach out to the state Directorate General of Information and Public Relations (IPR) to issue directions to media houses to refrain from insulting the actor.
On September 30, the commission had written to the state director general of police highlighting this issue. In a letter written in Marathi, the commission observed that charges against Chakraborty have not been proven but the “media has already declared her an accused” and “outraged modesty of a woman by using abusive language against her”. The commission made special reference to TV channels that had positioned themselves outside her Santacruz residence.
In the letter, the commission opined that Chakraborty was facing a media trial and harassment at the hand of news channels. Last week, commission officials met police officers to understand how the media can be held accountable for their coverage on the case.
Aastha Luthra, member secretary of the commission, said that under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, media houses could be prohibited from broadcasting such content. “The jurisdiction to monitor such content, however, lies with a state or national level committee set up to monitor content under the Act. We will be writing to the directorate general (IPR) once we hear from the police,” she added.
“We have been noticing the way the media has covered the entire episode. She has been hounded and although she did not approach us, as a commission, we deemed it correct to intervene,” said Luthra.
When contacted, Suhas Warke, state Inspector General (Law and Order), said, “We have referred the matter to Mumbai Police.” Warke met women commission officials last week to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh women commission has written to its Maharashtra counterpart, informing it that a suo motu cognizance has been taken over the incident involving the demolition of actor Kangana Ranaut’s office in Bandra by the BMC.
“But that matter has been put on hold by the commission since the actor herself approached the Bombay High Court and got a stay order on the demolition work,” an official said.
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