February 3rd, 2012
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Freedom of press threatened, Katju to the rescue

katjuNew Delhi: The Press Council came to the rescue of the press that claimed that the freedom of press is under threat. Justice Markandey Katju Chairperson of Press Council stated that he had received several complaints in many states and that he would send a fact finding team to inquire into the matter.

“Since I feel that this freedom is under threat in many states I intend to send fact-finding teams to some of the states from where we are getting a large number of such complaints. I have sought the opinion of the Members of the Press Council in this connection,” Mr. Katju said.

Various government agencies and organizations are alleged to have resorted to physical assaults on journalists or media establishments. Advertisements of news papers which were critical of the government were being withheld and various other mean of cohesion was being employed to silence the press.

“I have already issued strong letters to the Chief Ministers of J&K, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh in this connection,” he said. Mr. Katju said that he had also sent a letter to the Chief Minister of West Bengal objecting to the new rules regarding accreditation of journalists, some of which are likely to adversely affect the freedom of the press.

”The Freedom of Speech and Expression was a guaranteed right under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. Under Section 13(1) of the Press Council Act, 1978, it is the duty of the Press Council to preserve the freedom of the Press,” Mr. Katju said.



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