Justice Katju’s latest: Wants Maharashtra govt dismissed over attacks on journalists

Katju shot off a show cause notice to Maharashtra govt warning it with dismissal under Article 356.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 22, 2012 9:50 pm

IN WHAT may set off another controversy,Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju today shot off a show cause notice to the Maharashtra government warning it with dismissal under Article 356 for “failing to uphold the Constitution”.

The provocation was attacks on 800 journalists over 10 years in the state,including the “most shocking” murder of J Dey.

In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,Katju said the latter had not responded to two previous letters. “…why I should not recommend to the President to dismiss your State Government under Article 356 of the Constitution…,” Katju asked.

The former Supreme Court judge gave the CM three weeks to respond,failing which he “will take such action as is fit”.

“The Maharashtra government has failed in upholding the Constitution as it has failed to uphold the freedom of the press under Article 19(1)(a),” Katju added. “…it seems to me that your (Chavan’s) government is neither able to maintain law and order nor prevent attacks on journalists.”

Katju told The Indian Express that he had sent the first letter to Chavan more than a month ago while the second was sent after the attack on The Times of India office in Mumbai on January 28. “I sent the third letter today after a delegation of eight journalists from Maharashtra made a representation to me about frequent physical attacks.”

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