Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today in Rajya Sabha raised the issue of fake news and listed out various disadvantages of digital media.
LISTEN IN: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses the parliament, raises ‘fake news’ issue, says ‘digital media has its disadvantages’ pic.twitter.com/eEyDJnprry
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 26, 2018
Speaking on the challenges of the digital media, he said, ‘While acknowledging the benefits of the digital empowerment, it has also brought in challenges as its reckless abuse has posed a serious dilemma of striking the balance between freedom of speech and expression, awareness, empowerment and the obligation to be responsible, accountable so that mobile platforms do not become vehicles to commit crime, incite hatred, provoke terrorism, extremism, promote money laundering, etc.’ Prasad acknowledged that freedom of speech and expression should come with reasonable restrictions, especially when it endangers security of India. Speaking on fake news, Prasad said, India is committed to taking action against curbing the spread of fake news.
TMC MP Derek O’Brien, who had earlier too misused his parliamentary privilege to target and bully private individuals including the co-founder of OpIndia, Rahul Raj, used his parliamentary privilege and again used his parliamentary privilege to accuse an individual, lawyer Prashant Patel.
I’m called ‘India’s most hatred spreading monger’ by @derekobrienmp in Rajya Sabha Today, In the name of Parliamentary immunity, He can’t damage my reputation. I will take legal action. pic.twitter.com/kauTldFlxA
— Prashant Patel Umrao (@ippatel) July 26, 2018
As seen above, Derek refers to Prashant Patel, the lawyer who has led the fight to get 21 AAP MLAs disqualified, as ‘India’s vilest, hatred spreading Twitter handle.’ He questioned why was he invited to the social media meet by the BJP President the week prior.
This is not the first time Derek O’Brien has abused his parliamentary privilege, as common citizens cannot take parliamentarians to court for their actions on the floor of the House, to attack private citizens who could not be present there to defend themselves. While the earlier outburst seemed like an attempt to discredit the Twitter users who were exposing how Bengal government had failed to protects its citizens from violent riots, Prashant Patel believes he was targeted because he has been taking on Aam Aadmi Party and exposing their irregularities.
Speaking to OpIndia, Patel said he was targeted because he is ‘continuously exposing communist-Naxal gang and their lies’. He said that TMC was attacking him on behalf of AAP against whom he has been fighting. He also named co-founders of Alt-News, one of whom has been caught spreading lies more than once, behind giving his name to Derek because he has been ‘hitting them hard’. He said earlier also he has got death threats and by pointing him out on the floor in Rajya Sabha, they have ‘pointed him out’ to attack him on social media as well as outside. He said since they could not counter him logically and legally, they want to silence him on social media and elsewhere.
When asked how does he plan to take legal action against Derek O’Brien, since he is protected by parliamentary privilege, Patel said, he will write to Rajya Sabha chairman and remove the part from the proceedings and also send a notice to Derek O’Brien challenging him for an open debate.