Justice Katju’s latest: He wants Maharashtra govt dismissed

The provocation was attacks on 800 journalists over 10 years in the state

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2012 3:11:36 am

Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju today sent a show cause notice to the Maharashtra government warning it of dismissal 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 Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,Katju said his two previous letters had gone unanswered. “…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,” Katju said. “…It seems to me that your government is neither able to maintain law and order nor prevent attacks on journalists.”

Katju told The Indian Express he had sent the first letter to Chavan over a month ago. “I sent the third letter today after… eight journalists from Maharashtra made a representation to me.”

A Maharashtra subcommittee is reported to have concluded recently that there is no need for a law to protect journalists. But Chief Minister Chavan is yet to take a final decision.

The CM was in Nashik on Wednesday and could not be reached for his response.

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