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'Media Clampdown In National Interest' : Press Council Of India Intervenes In Kashmir Times's Plea In SC

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 Aug 2019 5:14 AM GMT
Media Clampdown In National Interest : Press Council Of India Intervenes In Kashmir Timess Plea In SC
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Supporting the media restrictions and information blackout imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of its special status, the Press Council of India has filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court. The restrictions are in the interests of the "integrity and sovereignty of the nation', said the PCI in the application filed in the petition of Kashmir Times...

Supporting the media restrictions and information blackout imposed in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of its special status, the Press Council of India has filed an intervention application in the Supreme Court. 

The restrictions are in the interests of the "integrity and sovereignty of the nation', said the PCI in the application filed in the petition of Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin.

Bhasin's plea challenges the media curbs as a violation of fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression and seeks a direction to lift them.

The PCI is a statutory body created as per the Press Councils Act 1978 with the objective to "preserve the freedom of press and to maintain and improve the standards of newspapers and news agencies in Inida".

In the intervention application, the PCI says that it is duty bound to ensure not only the freedom of press buy also to "foster a sense of both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship" and "to keep under review any development likely to restrict the supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance".

It states that Bhasin's petiiton makes no of the "abrogation of most contentious provision of the constitution, which has caused the restrictions on communication and other facilities in the interest of the integrity and sovereignty of the nation".

Kashmir Times, published simultaneously from Jammu and Srinagar, is stated to be the largest circulated English daily in the state with daily circulation of 3.5 lakh copies. Bhasin said that the Srinagar edition has not been published since August 4 after the imposition of curfew in the valley.

She contended that the absolute and complete internet and telecommunication shutdown, severe restrictions on mobility and sweeping curtailment on information sharing in the Kashmir valley, at a time when significant political and constitutional changes are being undertaken in Delhi to the status of J&K, is fuelling anxiety, panic, alarm, insecurity and fear among the residents of the Kashmir

On August 16, the CJI-led bench of the SC had deferred the hearing of the petition for two weeks after observing that government should be given more time for restoring normalcy.


 

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