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    Anti-media Government Order cleared by Chief Minister


    <TABLE width="100%" bgColor=#d0f0ff border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>File notings obained by RTI applicant come out with stunning revelations </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    <HR color=lightblue noShade>

    HYDERABAD: File notings obtained through a Right to Information application have revealed that Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Chief Secretary J. Harinarayana have indeed approved and signed the draft GO 938 of February 20, the controversial media-related order that kicked up a row three months ago.

    It marked a drive to launch defamation cases against newspapers and their editors, but was immediately withdrawn by the Government.
    Contrary to the impression created at that time that the Chief Minister and the top officers were unaware of the contents of the GO, the file notings clearly show the final GO was issued after the normal circulation of the file for four months from October 19, after it was thoroughly vetted and endorsed by all of them.

    The file notings were obtained on May 25 by the young RTI applicant and software engineer Dubbudu Rakesh Kumar, after doggedly pursuing it with authorities for three long months.

    One of the note sheets having eight points and observations made while the file was in circulation, bears the signatures beginning with the Principal Secretary (November 15, 2006), Law Secretary (November 18), Chief Secretary (November 21) and the Chief Minister (December 18). In fact the eighth point in the note clearly says that the Special Commissioner may be accorded permission for filing defamation cases against the publishers and editors and initiate action.

    Clear mention

    In the draft GO approved by them, there is clear mention of a "media watch" meeting chaired by Chief Minister, reviewing news items published/ telecast in print/ electronic media "with ulterior motive of tarnishing the image of the Government".

    "It is clear from the note sheets that elaborate thinking has gone into issue of the GO involving political leadership and bureaucracy but it was cancelled in the wake of the media's uproar," says Mr. Rakesh, who was just curious to know how the administration arrives at such decisions. Going by the notings, the seeds for the GO were sown during a "high level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister", as recorded by the Special Commissioner, Information and Public Relations, in his letter dated October 19, 2006, to the Principal Secretary, (Political) General Administration Department.

    The meeting had observed that "certain newspaper managements with malicious intention have been making serious allegations against the Government and its policies. As publication of such news item is tarnishing the image of the Government bringing disrepute to all the functionaries in charge of administration including that of Chief Minister, other Ministers, the department officials....it was decided to initiate legal action against those publishers and editors...."

    In the Assembly on February 23, the Chief Minister announced cancellation of the order after the Opposition criticised him for "recreating the dark days of Emergency... "
    He took the line that he was unaware of the GO until February 22 when he found that it contained "some embarrassing provisions" and issued immediate instructions to withdraw it.

    The Hindu : Front Page : Anti-media Government Order cleared by Chief Minister


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    Re: Anti-media Government Order cleared by Chief Minister


    When this GO was issued in February, both the CM and the CS denied vehemently. Guess that this is why both babus and politicians wanted file notings to be "out of purview" of the RTI Act. They can't even look for a scapegoat now. The best part is that the CM asked the CS to carry out a "enquiry" into the matter. Please see:

    Newswatch India &ndash; News for the news people » Andhra govt backtrags on media-gag order, looks for scapegoats

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    Re: Anti-media Government Order cleared by Chief Minister


    Dear all,

    This is Rakesh Dubbudu, the one who brought the fiel notings out. Its been a looong struggele to get the fiel notings. BUt eventually, they had to give it.

    I do soem work on RTI. BHUMI - What We Do - Project RTI

    I also filed a petition on farmer suicides in andhra pradesh.
    http://www.bhumi.in/rti-petitions/RT...r_Suicides.doc
    It eventually went to the state commission for hearing after 6 months. The judgement was in our favour. The authorities have to give the info in 30 days.
    Attaching the reply i received through mail from a district collector in andhra pradesh.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Anti-media Government Order cleared by Chief Minister



    Rakesh,

    Congratulations ! You are doing a great job with full perseverence.
    Wonder why only The Hindu carried the news item. Media should be interested in this because it affected them directly. Did you try to publish this in other newspapers/Media ?
    Visited your website and also saw the details of the 3 visits in connection with RTI. That one from MCH about Rs. 77,000/- to plaster the whole city is too much. That is not even the rental value for one hoarding for one month on a busy thoroughfare. I wish some Marketing/Sales/Movie people picked this example up, plastered the whole city with their product/service and pay only 77,000/-.
    I am also in Hyderabad and have been seeing from newspaper reports that the APIC is getting a bit tougher these days.
    All the best !

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