Press Council of India supporting restrictions on Press Freedom in J&K

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New Delhi:The Press Council of India has moved the Supreme Court supporting the Centre and J&K government’s decision to impose restrictions on communication in the state, PTI reported. The application filed by the PCI has sought the intervention of the apex court in the petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times. Bhasin had sought the removal of restrictions on communication which she said were coming in the way of journalists’ right to exercise their profession. The application on behalf of the PCI was filed by advocate Anshuman Ashok on Friday. In the application, the PCI has justified the communication blockade saying that due to the security concerns there can be reasonable restrictions on the media.

The council, a statutory body led by a former Supreme Court judge and meant to preserve freedom of the Press in the democracy, said the basic journalistic code of conduct framed by it required the media to indulge in self-regulation while reporting on subjects that may harm State interests.

“The rights of the journalists/media for free and fair reporting are on the one hand and national interest of integrity and sovereignty on the other. Hence the applicant is of opinion that it should present its views before this court and assist the court in deciding the instant writ petition justly in the interest of the freedom of the press as well as in the national interest,” read the application.The PCI also cited norms of journalistic conduct Clause 23, which prescribes self-regulation in reporting by journalists in matters of sensitive national, social or individual interests.

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