NEW DELHI, MARCH 14: The Press Council of India has issued notice to the Jammu and Kashmir Government for singling out two Kashmir-based newspapers. The Council also termed the conviction of Shillong Times Editor and Publisher as uncalled for.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has stopped giving advertisements to the Greater Kashmir and the Kashmir Reader. In protest, the major newspapers of State ran blank front pages on March 11.
Acting on a complaint from the Editors Guild of Kashmir, the Council, in a statement, said it “views with concern such incident, which tends to undermine the freedom of press.”
PCI supports Shillong Times
The PCI also said it would join the petitioners of the Shillong Times to appeal against the Meghalaya High Court’s order.
The Editor and Publisher of Shillong Times, Patricia Mukhim and Shobha Chaudhuri, were ordered by the Meghalaya High Court to pay a fine of ?2 lakh each within a week or face 6 month imprisonment and ban on the newspaper.
A Bench comprising the Chief Justice MY Mir and Justice SR Sen, taking umbrage of two reports published in the newspaper had held it liable of contempt of court. Mukhim and Chaudhuri are moving the Supreme Court against the order.
The PCI noted that Meghalaya High Court judgment is vulnerable on many accounts. “The hon’ble Judge ought to have kept in mind that by making unnecessary observations he had thrust the office of the Judge in front of the firing line,” the PCI has noted. The Council also said, if allowed by the Supreme Court, it will join their petition.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)