Jurist Fali Nariman Slams CBI For NDTV Raids

The jurist said the FIR was filed by the CBI on the basis of a single complaint and not based on any discovery.

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Jurist Fali Nariman addressed a gathering of journalists at the Press Club of India.

New Delhi:  Noted constitutional expert Fali Nariman has slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for searching the residences of the NDTV's co-founder Dr Prannoy Roy. Mr Nariman addressed a meeting of journalists in New Delhi and said that while no one was immune from prosecution for a crime, the justification given by the CBI made him believe that this was an assault on the press and media freedom. 

On June 2, an FIR was lodged by CBI alleging criminal conspiracies, cheating by NDTV and unknown officials of ICICI Bank about "something that took place during 2008-09", he said. 

"Why was it not brought to light earlier was not mentioned anywhere," he said.

Mr Nariman said the FIR was filed by the CBI on the basis of a single complaint and not based on any discovery. 

"The FIR was filed solely on the information provided by a private individual." 

He said the CBI raids took place just days after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was told to leave a show on NDTV for accusing the channel of having an agenda. 

The jurist emphasised that the CBI instituted a criminal inquiry against Dr Roy immediately after receiving the complaint. 

"It should have told the complainant to file a complaint in a criminal court but rather the raids took place and were carried out as widely publicised," he said.

"We citizens enjoy freedom, which is not there in many places in the world. There is a freedom of speech guaranteed in the constitution," he added. 

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