Govt to decriminalise defamation: Moily

New Delhi, Jan 12 (PTI) Government is working ondecriminalisation of defamation to make it a civil wrong and asolution may be found soon, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily saidtoday.

"We are in the process of identifying a number of so-called offences. Decriminalisation of defamation is one such.

This is one area we are looking into definitely and shortly wewill come out with a solution," he said.

Moily was speaking at a function where he away the"IPI-India Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2010" to newsmagazine ''Tehelka'' for its expose on the killing of a Manipurresident in cold blood by security forces.

Tarun Tejpal, Editor of Tehelka, received the award atthe function which was attended among others by eminent mediapersonalities besides public men including former Law MinisterRam Jethmalani, senior counsel K T S Tulsi and former ministerShashi Tharoor. The award consists of a trophy, a citationand a Rs. two lakh cash for the series done by reporter TeresaRehman.

The award was selected by a jury that included A S Anand,former Chief Justice of India, N Ravi, Editor, The Hindu, andChairman of the India Chapter of the IPI, and M K Razdan,Editor in Chief and CEO of PTI.

Moily was referring to a plea by Ravi who said thegovernment should urgent address the issue of decriminalisingdefamation.

Ravi said government action was needed becausejournalists were being put to unnecessary harassment. Hesuggested that defamation could be handled as a civil wrong.

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