London: NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul feels that public humiliation by the press may have driven Indian nurse Jacintha Saldhana to take her own life. Participating in a debate on Lord Justice Leveson's report on the culture, practices and ethics of the press on Friday evening in the House of Lords, Lord Paul offered his sincere condolences to the bereaved family.
Forty-six-year-old Saldanha was found dead after she was duped into giving up information about Prince William's wife to two Australian radio hosts, who fooled her into thinking they were the Queen and Prince Charles live on air last month. Lord Paul, also the Chairman of the Caparo Group, said when Lord Leveson was preparing his report even he could not have foreseen that a supposed hoax call by two Australian radio presenters would end in such tragedy.
"Saldhana came to the UK with her husband and children as a young skilled nurse, worked hard and contributed to the welfare of people in this country. Yet she became an unwitting victim of the media. It appears that public humiliation by the press may have driven her to take her own life," he said. "I have great sympathy for the royal family and The Duchess of Cambridge who were also victims in this tragedy," he said, adding "this case must surely represent the pinnacle of the abuse of power by the media over the individual.
"With power goes responsibility. Yet again the media have failed fully to accept the responsibility. My Lords, it is now time for that power to be curbed, and I urge the Government to endorse fully the recommendations of Lord Justice Leveson's report, especially when it was commissioned with all party support," he added.