Daily Desher Katha, CPI (M)’s Bengali mouthpiece in Tripura, Thursday resumed publication after a gap of nine days following an order of the Tripura High Court which stayed a previous administrative order instructing to immediately stop its publication. The newspaper published its 49th issue of the 40th year of its publication today with a declaration which names Samir Paul as editor and says that the newspaper is printed at Tripura Printers & Publishers Private Limited and published by the Daily Desher Katha Trust.
“We have resumed publication of the newspaper today. The High Court issued stay order on an administrative order which stopped publication. There is no obstruction to publication as of now. We are happy at the Court’s order,” editor of Daily Desher Katha Samir Paul told indianexpress.com.
A complaint was registered against Daily Desher Katha in August this year for allegedly violating the Press and Registration of Books Act. A preliminary investigation conducted by the District Magistrate reportedly found there is “substance” in the complaint and a hearing process was initiated.
An independent complainant filed the complainant where charges were slapped on a number of issues which include mismatch between information of editor, printer and publisher provided in the newspaper’s declaration and data maintained with the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI).
In an administrative order on October 1, West Tripura district magistrate Sandeep Namdeo Mahatme instructed to immediately stop publication of the party mouthpiece. Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI), which earlier approved the revised declaration of Daily Desher Katha editor, printer and publisher, issued a fresh order soon after cancelling registration of the newspaper.
In an order issued on Wednesday, Tripura High Court Chief Justice Rastogi said in his order, “…the future effect and operation of the order of the District Magistrate, West d.t.01.10.2018 followed with the order passed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sadar dt.01.10.2018 are hereby stayed. However, the respondents will be at liberty to file application for vacation/modification of the interim order after filing of the counter affidavit”.
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharjee, counsel for Daily Desher Katha, yesterday claimed DM and SDM issued orders to stop the newspaper’s publication outside their jurisdiction. This can’t be done without political intervention”, Bhattacharjee said.
District Magistrate Mahatme Thursday put up defense against the allegations and said all his actions were made based on laws and rights entitled to the office of the DM.
“I issued the order based on rights and responsibilities entitled to the office of the DM. I also mentioned that the respondents can appeal before higher courts. They have done so and a stay order was issued on my order. There is no problem to it. This is the law,” the DM told this correspondent.
Daily Desher Katha started as a weekly newspaper under the name ‘Desher Dak’, changed its name to ‘Dainik Desher Katha’ and further to ‘Daily Desher Katha’. It is being published for 40 years in a row as a daily newspaper.