Mumbai Press Club, Tops Security & TATA's ink settlement on photojournalist dispute

Mumbai, 14 February:

The Mumbai Press Club and the Bombay News Photographers Association today signed an agreement with Tops Security, to bring down the curtains on a long-standing dispute concerning the attack on a group of photo-journalists outside Bombay House, the Tatas’ HQ in South Mumbai. The Tata Group Company, Associated Building Company Ltd (ABCL), which owns and maintains Bombay House, facilitated the agreement. The dispute between the two sides has been pending before the Press Council of India (PCI) since November 2016. 

As per the terms of the agreement, Tops Security has agreed to pay an ex gratia amount of Rs 30 lakh towards the Journalists Welfare Fund. The three photo-journalists – Atul Kamble of Midday, Arijt Sen of Hindustan Times and Shantha Kumar of Times of India – who had filed FIRs based on which criminal prosecution was launched against 6 security guards – agreed not to press charges and withdraw their case. 

The settlement followed a long process of interaction from June 2017. It was triggered by the Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice C K Prasad urging the two sides to reach a negotiated agreement rather than engage in a long-winded acrimonious battle before the PCI. 

The Press Council had taken suo moto cognisance of an incident of 4 November 2016, when a group of photo-journalists who had gathered outside Bombay House to cover the Tata Sons dispute involving then chairman Cyrus Mistry, were injured in a melee involving Tops Security guards. A few FIRs had been filed against the security guards, and the MRA Marg Police Station, taking cognisance of the complaints of injuries, had arrested 6 security guards and pressed criminal charges against them. 

One of photo-journalists, Atul Kamble, suffered grievous injuries that required several surgical procedures, and prolonged physiotherapy. 

The Mumbai Press Club and the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) appeared before the Press Council on behalf of the photographers.

Dharmendra Jore
Mumbai Press Club


Mumbai Press Club
Article posted on 14/02/2018

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