Presidential pardon for Tamil journalist on World Press Freedom Day

first_imgThe press freedom organisation added: “This is very political decision, coming just a few weeks ahead of presidential elections. It should have been taken within a few weeks of his arrest. Either way, his release on bail confirms that he was convicted on terrorism charge for which there was absolutely no evidence.” “This is very good news,” his lawyer, M.A. Sumanthiran, told today to Reporters Without Borders. “He left prison with his moral strengthened. And as we have good grounds for the appeal, I am fairly optimistic.” Arrested in March 2008 and convicted in August 2009, Tissainayagam spent a total of 21 months in detention, the first few weeks of which were particularly tough. “Tissainayagam’s release is a source of great joy for the many people who worked to prove his innocence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But this is just the first step. This renowned Tamil journalist must be fully cleared and allowed to resume a normal life.” Organisation In October, Tissainayagam became the first person to be awarded the Peter Mackler Prize for journalistic courage and integrity. The prize commemorates veteran Agence France-Presse reporter and editor Peter Mackler, who died last year. Tissainayagam’s detention was condemned by many foreign governments and leaders including US President Barack Obama, who referred to him as persecuted journalist on 3 May. A Reporters Without Borders representative discussed the Tissainayagam case at a meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in October 2008. Two other people who were arrested in the same case, S. Jaseeharan, a printer, and his partner, Vallarmathy, were released recently and sought refuge abroad. Sri LankaAsia – Pacific No serious evidence was ever produced to support the terrorism charge against Tissainayagam, who was arrested for criticising the army’s strategy in its war against the Tamil Tiger rebels and for launching a website called Outreachsl.com. Reporters Without Borders welcomes the presidential pardon for Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam that was issued today to coincide with World Press Freedom Day. A columnist for the local Sunday Times newspaper and editor of the Outreachsl website, Tissainayagam was freed on bail in January pending an appeal against a 20-year jail sentence on charges of supporting terrorism and inciting racial hatred. Last October, while still in prison, he was awarded first prize in the Peter Mackler Award for journalistic courage and integrityReporters Without Borders urges President Mahinda Rajapakse to ensure that Tissainayagam will now be able to lead a normal life and, in particular, that he will be able to move freely and resume working as a journalist.________________________________________________________13 January 2010Tamil journalist’s release on bail hailed as first step towards acquittalReporters Without Borders welcomes Tamil journalist J. S. Tissainayagam’s release on bail today pending the outcome of his appeal against a 20-year jail sentence on a trumped-up charge of supporting terrorism. His release was ordered by a Colombo appeal court two days ago. Videos about J. S. Tissainayagam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkF1izDogCw News A member of his family described his release to Reporters Without Borders as “a ray of sunlight” but added that there was “still a lot of work to do” and that it was not yet time for celebrating. News News The preceding release about J. S. Tissainayagam: http://www.rsf.org/Tamil-journalist-gets-shameful-20.html Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Help by sharing this information Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Receive email alerts to go further Follow the news on Sri Lanka May 3, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Presidential pardon for Tamil journalist on World Press Freedom Day Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists RSF_en July 29, 2020 Find out more Tissainayagam’s lawyer confirmed that his client had to pay 500 US dollars in bail and surrender his passport after the Colombo appeal court ruled on 11 January that he should be released provisionally. January 13, 2021 Find out more News July 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Read More →

No Law To Make Whatsapp Group Admins Liable For Messages By Group Members

first_imgColumnsNo Law To Make Whatsapp Group Admins Liable For Messages By Group Members Prasanth Sugathan17 April 2020 8:11 PMShare This – xNo amount of convoluted legal interpretation will make a Whatsapp group admin an intermediary.The Office of Special Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber has issued an advisory warning that admins of Whatsapp groups along with users could be punished for posting objectionable content on Whatsapp groups. The advisory has cited various provisions including Sections 153 A, 153B, 295A, 505 and 188 of Indian Penal Code, Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, Section 68 of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Office of Special Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber has issued an advisory warning that admins of Whatsapp groups along with users could be punished for posting objectionable content on Whatsapp groups. The advisory has cited various provisions including Sections 153 A, 153B, 295A, 505 and 188 of Indian Penal Code, Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act, Section 68 of the Bombay Police Act, 1951 and Section 144 and Section 144(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Even prior to this advisory, there have been media reports that focused on the liability of Whatsapp Group admins for objectionable messages sent by members of the group. The reports also quoted opinions by a few experts who claimed that Whatsapp Group admins are intermediaries and have to comply with the guidelines and rules applicable to intermediaries to claim safe-harbour protection. Disinformation on social media is a major issue which Governments and law enforcement agencies have to deal with across the world. However, coming up with illegal executive orders is not an effective way to deal with this. The advisory issued by the Maharashtra police has tried to slap penal provisions on Whatsapp group admins without any statutory basis and in violation of the basic principles of criminal law. A Whatsapp group admin has only a limited power to add or remove members from a group. Unless she has abetted or assisted in posting an objectionable message, she can, by no stretch of imagination be held liable for any post made by a member of the group. Of course, if a group has been formed for an illegal purpose like sharing child abuse videos then the admin can be held liable. There is no law by which an admin of any messaging service can be held liable for a post made by a member in the group. Any executive order, much less an advisory, which attempts at penalising an act without any statutory backing will be illegal. None of the statutory provisions stated in the advisory saddles the admin of a Whatsapp group with any liability for a post made by a member of the group. Section 68 of the Bombay Police Act, 1951 only states that all persons shall be bound to conform to the reasonab1e directions of a Police officer given in fulfilment of any of his duties under this Act. This provision does not give the Police any power to come up with a set of directions for Whatsapp group admins along with penal consequences for non compliance. It is also to be noted that as per Section 140 of this Act the maximum punishment for contravention of S.68 of the Act is fine which may extend to five hundred rupees. Such a section cannot be used as a blanket provision to impose liability for a Whatsapp group admin for an act which is done by someone else. The admin of a Whatsapp group cannot be vicariously liable for any act by a member of the group. There is no master-servant or a principal-agent relationship between the admin of a Whatsapp group and its member. The Apex Court has held in Sham Sunder and Ors. vs. State of Haryana (1989) 4 SCC 630 that “there is no vicarious liability in criminal law unless the statute takes that also within its fold”. This dictum was followed in R. Kalyani Vs. Janak C. Mehta (2009)1 SCC 516.In this connection, it is also pertinent to refer to the 2016 decision of the Delhi High Court in Ashish Bhalla vs Suresh Chawdhary, which held that the group admin was not liable for a defamatory text made by a member.”When an online platform is created, the creator, thereof, cannot expect any of the members thereof to indulge in defamation and defamatory statements made by any member of the group cannot make the administrator liable therefore. It is not as if without the administrator’s approval of each of the statements, the statements cannot be posted by any of the members of the group on the said platform,” the court observed.Dismissing a civil suit for defamation against the group admin, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “I am unable to understand as to how the administrator of a group can be held liable for defamation even if any, by the statements made by a member of the group.”No intermediary liability There also seems to be an attempt at creating confusion on the aspect of secondary liability by holding that a Whatsapp Group admin can be considered to be an Intermediary. Section 2 (w) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 states that “intermediary”, with respect to any particular electronic records, means any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that record or provides any service with respect to that record and includes telecom service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online-market places and cyber cafes. A Whatsapp group admin does not have any power to moderate or to censor messages in a group. He does not receive or transmit any record or provide any service with respect to such record. Yes, the service provider, viz., Whatsapp is an intermediary. The telecom provider that provides a connection enabling the user to connect to Whatsapp servers is an intermediary. However, no amount of convoluted legal interpretation will make a Whatsapp group admin an intermediary. A Whatsapp group is quite different from an online forum where the administrator often has the power to moderate discussions, delete messages and has the option to approve messages before it gets posted to be viewed by the public. A Whatsapp group admin has none of these powers. There have been instances of Whatsapp group admins being the target of police actions in certain cases involving misleading messages shared in Whatsapp groups. These are often due to the ignorance of the police officers regarding the medium as well as the relevant laws. Disinformation is a major threat during a pandemic crisis like the present one. However, that cannot be an excuse to come up with draconian measures to muzzle freedom of speech and expression of citizens. Unreasonable restrictions imposed on social media and messaging platforms could lead to a chilling effect on the rights of free speech of citizens preventing free discourse which is important in these times. Prasanth Sugathan [The author is a lawyer practicing at the High Court of Kerala and is the Voluntary Legal Director at SFLC.in, New Delhi] Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Read More →

Ballast Nedam to transfer pensions to general pension fund Stap

first_imgBNPF said the €26bn multi-sector scheme PGB was also a candidate for taking over its pension rights until the last moment. However, PGB ultimately dropped out because of its different risk attitude, explained Dick Vis, chairman of the Ballast Nedam scheme.“As a consequence of earlier rights cuts at our scheme, participants of BNPF are less prepared to take risks than PGB’s members,” he said.Vis pointed out that the possibility of keeping its own identity in a separate compartment at the APF had also played a role.However, the chairman couldn’t say whether the transfer to Stap would be cheaper or more expensive than joining the multi-sector scheme.Another unnamed general pension fund was also part of the tendering process, Vis added.The pension fund’s accountability body and supervisory board have voiced their support for the transfer, which is still subject to approval by the regulator, De Nederlandsche Bank.If the transaction goes ahead, BNPF’s trustees will take positions on Stap’s stakeholders’ board alongside some members of the accountability body. The €1bn pension fund of Dutch construction company Ballast Nedam plans to transfer its accrued benefits to Stap, the general pension fund (APF) set up by insurer Aegon and its subsidiary TKP.In a message on its website, the scheme said its members’ benefits would be placed in an individual compartment at the APF. The pension fund itself is to be wound down next year.The Ballast Nedam Pensioenfonds (BNPF) has been seeking to transfer its legacy pension scheme to a third party after the employer cancelled its pensions provision with effect from 1 January 2019.In 2016, the sponsor selected BpfBouw – the €58bn scheme for the building sector – to run future pensions accrual for its workers.last_img read more

Read More →