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Katju’s remarks demonstrate ‘deep bias’: INS

INS has warned against placing newspapers within the ambit of any 'draconian' legal provisions.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: November 4, 2011 5:38:37 pm

Describing Press Council Chairman Justice Markandeya Katju’s remarks on media as one of “deep bias”,the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) on Friday warned against placing newspapers within the ambit of any “draconian” legal provisions.

The INS expressed fear that his views,which “demonstrated deep bias against members of the Fourth Estate”,would “adversely affect” its functioning especially in its quasi-judicial role as a media watchdog.

INS president Ashish Bagga said the INS views with “alarm and consternation” the remarks made by Katju.

“The Society will resist every effort to undermine the freedom of press,or to place newspapers within the ambit of draconian legal provisions,” Bagga said in a statement.

With his sweeping remarks,he said,Katju has not only undermined his own position but has made the position of the Council,which has several members from the press,untenable.

He said Katju has sought more powers for the Council,including those of suspending licences of newspapers,imposing fines and of withholding government advertisements.

“Such powers would militate against the primary objective of the Council,which is to preserve the freedom of the press,” Bagga said.

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