28 Nov 2008 : Dr.Avnish Jolly : The attention of the Press Council of India has been drawn by the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic & Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, to the recurring incidence of media reports which are affecting defamation and insult to the entire communities of the Nomadic tribes due to their tendency to stigmatise entire communities for individual crime, especially communities which, were already branded as criminals by the British Government. Special reference has been made by Commission of the communities notified during the British regime as ‘Criminal Tribes’.
The Council recalls that in the past it has been approached with similar complaints, adjudicating which it had drawn up guidelines for the press as reproduced below:
“An accused or victim shall not be described by his/her caste or community when the same does not have anything to do with the offence of the crime and plays no part either in the identification of any accused or proceeding, if there be any.”
The Council, once again advised to the media to abide by these norms, which prohibit in general, the caste /community identification of a person or a particular class, particularly when in the context it conveys or attributes a conduct or practice derogatory to that caste.