PCI says media clampdown in Kashmir is in “national interest”     

PCI, which has the responsibility of protecting the “freedom of the press” asked permission from the Supreme Court in intervening with the petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, editor of <i>Kashmir Times</i>

PCI says media clampdown in Kashmir is in “national interest”&nbsp;
PCI says media clampdown in Kashmir is in “national interest”
user

NH Web Desk

The Press Council of India has written to the Supreme Court bringing up concerns with respect to national interests; backing the media clampdown in Kashmir, claiming it to be necessary to “protect the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.”

PCI, which has the responsibility of protecting the “freedom of the press” asked permission from the Supreme Court in intervening with the petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, editor of Kashmir Times. This petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin demands the end of the communication blockade in Kashmir post abrogation of the Articles 370 and 35A.

“In the interest of the freedom of the press as well as in the national interest”, the council has said that it would want to present its views to help the apex court in deciding on Bhasin’s petition, reported The Wire.

Anuradha Bhasin’s petition demands the immediate relaxation of all restrictions on mobile, internet and landline services; relaxation of restrictions on the free movement of journalists and media personnel in the state.

PCI brings to the Supreme Court its right to intervene, citing that under section 13 of the PCI’s Press Council Act, it is the Press Council’s job to

· maintain high standards of public taste

· foster “a due sense of both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship” on part of newspapers, news agencies and journalists and

· to “keep under review any development likely to restrict the supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance”.


The Wire reports that on speaking to two members of the PCI, they found out that the members of the PCI had no idea about the action against Anuradha Bhasin’s petition. “The wording of this petition is so dangerous. Though the rules say that the chairman must get the council’s endorsement for any decision he takes in between meetings, he did not even inform the council about the fact that the PCI is intervening in Anuradha Bhasin’s case.” -One council member told The Wire.

“If the Press Council – set up by an act of parliament i.e. in the name of the people – sees a free and open media as a threat to the nation’s ‘sovereignty’, and if it believes readers and viewers can and ought to be kept in the dark in special situations, it is a sad day for Indian democracy, although it would not surprise anybody that things have come to such a pass.”

Krishna Prasad, Former Editor of Outlook Magazine told the Wire.

Many other journalists expressed their concerns on the Press Council of India defending the infringement of the Press’s rights like this:



Click here to join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines