Whether a foreign national can be the editor of an Indian newspaper?

New Delhi: Delhi High Court (DHC) will start hearing on 8 November 2013 to settle the question of law raised by a public interest litigation (PIL) —whether a foreign national can be the editor of an Indian newspaper. DHC observed today as, “the larger issue raised by the PIL needs to be considered”.

PIL was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against the appointment of Varadarajan as Editor of The Hindu who posses a foreign passport. In his PIL, Swamy has argued that the editor of newspaper must be an Indian citizen as the Supreme Court has held that news items published in a newspaper “cause far-reaching consequences in an individual and country’s life.” Newspaper editorials have profound effect in national debates and in the formation of opinion of the voter in a parliamentary or any other election.

Swamy argued that in 2011, the Cabinet approved the Press and Registration of Books and Publication Bill which will replace a 1867 Act. The Bill has a clause that requires Indian citizenship for a print media editor. However, the Bill is pending in Parliament.

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