Maha CM assures safety of journalists
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Last Updated: Friday, March 02, 2012, 16:07
New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has written to Press Council of India (PCI) chief Justice Markandey Katju, assuring him of his government's commitment to ensure safety of journalists.

The Chief Minister's letter came after the PCI chief had sent him a scathing missive over violent attacks on journalists in Maharashtra.

Katju, in his letter, had threatened to recommend dismissal of the state government to the President.

A statement issued today by Katju said that the Maharashtra CM had written "stating that he (Chavan) holds the Press Council in high esteem and that his government is committed to guarantee the freedom of the press."

"He has also stated that he is getting the issues raised in my letter (regarding attacks on journalists in Maharashtra) examined and will revert to me soon with factual details," the statement issued by the PCI chairman said.

Earlier Katju had written to the Maharashtra government about journalists safety but his letters were not replied to.

A reply this time, even if it was to a toughly worded letter, seemed to have satisfied him.

"By writing such a letter the Chief Minister has behaved like a gentleman. The letter is in keeping with his constitutional obligation and I believe in his assurance that he will do all he can for maintaining freedom of the press," Katju said in his statement.

In his statement, Katju said that he was withdrawing his showcause notice to the Maharashtra CM but warned other state governments against laxity in protecting the freedom of press. "Consequently, I hereby withdraw the showcause notice issued to him," Katju said.

"However, I warn all State Governments/Union Territories that the Press Council will take serious note of any violation of freedom of the press which is a guaranteed fundamental right," which the Press Council was duty bound to protect, Katju added.


First Published: Friday, March 02, 2012, 16:07

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