The Indian Women's Press Corps on Monday condemned the Press Council of India's move to approach the Supreme Court supporting the Centre's decision to impose restrictions on communication in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 provisions, and asserted that it was a "unilateral action".
The application filed in the Supreme Court by the PCI seeks intervention in the petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, in which she had sought the removal of restrictions on communication which she said were coming in the way of journalists' right to exercise their profession.
The Indian Women's Press Corps (IWPC) condemns the unilateral action of the Press Council of India's (PCI) chairman, Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, in seeking intervention on behalf of the PCI in a writ petition filed by Bhasin in the Supreme Court.
Justice Chandramauli Prasad did not confide or even discuss with other members of the PCI before taking this far reaching step, the IWPC said in a statement.
Bhasin had filed a writ petition in the apex court on August 10 challenging curbs on media freedom in Jammu & Kashmir and sought directions to relax all restrictions on mobile, internet and landline services to enable journalists to perform their duties, it said.
"The PCI's intervention is an abdication of its responsibilities and against the very purpose for which the body was set up," the IWPC said.
The council founded by an act of Parliament is meant to uphold press freedom and improve standards of journalism. The crux of Bhasin's writ is to facilitate the operation of the media in Kashmir, the statement said.
The IWPC also condemned the continuing "restrictions on the media" in Jammu & Kashmir, which prevents it from carrying out its duties.
"The rough handling of the media covering the Opposition delegation to Srinagar on Friday is especially deplored," it said.