Days after the Press Council of India moved the Supreme Court backing the central government's decision to impose restrictions on press and communication in Jammu and Kashmir, the Editors Guild of India said that the PCI has failed to speak up for press freedom.
"...the Press Council of India is not only failing to speak up for it (Press Freedom) but is perversely arguing for a media clampdown in the name of national interest. This, at a time when reporters on the ground are being targeted for doing their job," a statement of the Guild on Tuesday said.
The Guild said it believes that it is a free media that offers a reliable feedback loop to those in charge of governance, and therefore, "a free media is very much in the national interest".
It said that the Guild expects the chairman of the Press Council of India to rescind his unilateral decision, "apparently taken without consulting Council members, to intercede in a case in the Supreme Court concerning extreme and unrelenting restrictions placed on the media in Jammu and Kashmir".
The PCI had moved the Supreme Court supporting the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government's decision to impose restrictions on communication in the state following the abrogation of Article 370.
The application filed by the PCI sought intervention in the petition filed by Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, in which she had sought the removal of restrictions on communication which she said were coming in the way of journalists' right to exercise their profession.
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.