New Delhi: Coming under severe criticism for defending media restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of the state, the Press Council of India (PCI), in its extraordinary meeting on Tuesday passed a resolution saying it “stands for freedom of the press, keeping in mind the interest of the nation”.
Sources stated that a majority of members expressed displeasure at the filing of an affidavit in the Supreme Court by the Council, headed by chairman Justice (Retd) C.K. Prasad. They were also of the view that the sub-committee on Jammu and Kashmir, formed by the Council, should visit the region as soon as possible to review the situation and assess press freedom and access.
Media bodies had criticised the affidavit and 11 PCI members had demanded an emergency meeting to convince the chairman to withdraw it. The PCI affidavit in the Supreme Court followed the Kashmir Times executive editor’s request for judicial intervention to lift curbs on the media in J&K. Mr Prasad’s affidavit reportedly said the council would like to assist the apex court in deciding the petition “in the interest of the freedom of the press as well as in national interest”.
It is understood that the PCI would file a “review” on the media situation in Jammu & Kashmir after its sub-committee visits the region. Several members of the Council had demanded that the sub-committee should be immediately sent to check the prevailing situation in the region and assess media access and freedom, sources stated.