The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to approach the Press Council of India (PCI) against media organisations over their alleged “defamatory reports” pertaining to a fire at the state secretariat on August 25.
The state Cabinet has also decided to seek legal advice from the advocate-general about registering a case under CrPC Section 199 (2) against certain newspapers which published “deliberate reports to cause misunderstanding”, according to an official communication.
Justifying the decision, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the August 25 fire was distorted by certain sections of the media. “[They were] saying that the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary were behind setting the office on fire… This is defaming the entire administrative system… The cabinet wanted to bring the issue to the notice of persons in responsible positions,” Pinarayi said.
The fire in question broke out in the General Administration Department (Political), where the state protocol office functions. The fire was reported a day after the state protocol officer submitted his statement before the NIA, which is probing the case involving the smuggling of gold through diplomatic cargo to the UAE Consulate.
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