New Delhi: Describing Press Council Chairman
Justice Markandeya Katju`s remarks on media as one of "deep
bias", the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) today warned against
placing newspapers within the ambit of any "draconian" legal
The INS expressed fear that his views, which
"demonstrated deep bias against members of the Fourth Estate",
would "adversely affect" its functioning especially in its
quasi-judicial role as a media watchdog.
INS president Ashish Bagga said the INS views with "alarm
and consternation" the remarks made by Katju.
"The Society will resist every effort to undermine the
freedom of press, or to place newspapers within the ambit of
draconian legal provisions," Bagga said in a statement.
With his sweeping remarks, he said, Katju has not only
undermined his own position but has made the position of the
Council, which has several members from the press, untenable.
He said Katju has sought more powers for the Council,
including those of suspending licences of newspapers, imposing
fines and of withholding government advertisements.
"Such powers would militate against the primary objective
of the Council, which is to preserve the freedom of the
press," Bagga said.