Media freedom: Katju proposes joint panel
New Delhi: Press Council of India (PCI)
chief Justice Markandey Katju on Monday reached out to Editors of
leading news channels proposing formation of a joint committee
which would work to protect the freedom of Indian media.
In a letter addressed to Broadcast Editors' Association
(BEA) president Shazi Zaman and general secretary NK Singh,
Katju said that the Committee could have an equal number of
members from the PCI and the BEA.
"I suggest that a co-ordination committee be formed
between the Press Council of India and the BEA consisting of 3
or more representatives of both bodies," Katju wrote in his
Explaining why he thought that the formation of a joint
committee was important, Katju said that the freedom of media
was under threat in many parts of the country.
"Media freedom has of late been imperilled in many parts
of the country, and we should jointly fight against this
dangerous trend, otherwise the situation may grow worse,"
Katju wrote in his letter.
Katju also said that in many parts of India physical
attacks had taken place against media persons, while in other
places governments had pressurised the proprietor to sack or
transfer journalists who write against them.
"I have been fighting for maintaining freedom of the
media where it was threatened example in J and K, Maharashtra,
Bihar, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, UP, West Bengal, etc," Katju
said in the letter to TV editors' body.
In his letter, Katju clarified that "although the Press
Council deals only with the print media, I have been fighting
for freedom of the electronic media too example in Karnataka,
J&K, Maharashtra, etc."
The PCI chief said that there were other issues relating
to print and electronic media which also needed to be