Journalism is one of the most important pillars of a democracy and an attack on its freedom and scope shall certainly become a matter of concern for all those who strive to keep the spirit of democracy alive.
In a latest move, the Press Council of India(PCI)has written to the Supreme Court of India, asking it to make the PCI a party to the plea filed by the Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin against the restrictions that have been imposed on the media in the aftermath of the revocation of Article 370.
The revocation of the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two union territories has sparked off a number of questions on journalistic freedom in contemporary India. The PCI supported the curbs imposed on the media and said that such restrictions had been imposed keeping into consideration the ‘national interest’.
It pleaded before the Supreme Court to allow it to assist the SC in deciding on the petition that had been filed by Bhasin.
The PCI asserted that the plea made by Bhasin was more concerned with the decline in circulation, readership and earnings than it was about the national interest.
The PCI also pleaded for a code of conduct to be imposed on journalists so that the ‘moral, social and national interest’ of the nation can be kept in mind.
The Executive Editor of The Kashmir Times had earlier moved the court against the blockade on reporting from Kashmir and said that it was rapidly impacting free media coverage and publishing from the Valley.
It was on August 16, that the Supreme Court had taken up Bhasin’s plea along with several other petitions filed against the revocation of Article 370.
The Supreme Court had not passed any orders on that day. Bhasin’s petition will now be heard on September 16.