The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today passed a bill that seeks to prevent attacks on journalists and media houses. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis introduced the bill of ‘Maharashtra Mediapersons and Media Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to property) Act, 2017’, in the lower house, which was passed without discussion in the absence of opposition members. The bill provides for prevention of violence against journalists while carrying out their duties as media persons, and prevention of damage or loss of property of media persons or media houses in the state.
As per the provisions of the Act, anyone who commits or attempts to commit or provokes the commission of any act of violence, shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to three years, or with fine, which may extend to 50,000 rupees or with both. The Act says, the offender shall be liable to pay compensation for damage or loss caused to the property of the media person or media house, as determined by the court and also be liable to reimburse the medical expenditure incurred by the media person.