Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice Markandey Katju expressed his apprehensions about the investigations into the murder of J Dey, editor (crime and investigations, MiD DAY), and asserted the need to have a fresh look into the case.
Speaking at a gathering of members of Pune Union of Working Journalists and other media personnel yesterday, Katju said that his recent exchanges with a few journalists in Mumbai indicate that all is not well with the murder probe.
“If this is the case, then we need to relook at the way investigations have taken place. There is a feeling among media personnel that cops are trying to cover up the matter,” he said.
Justice Katju also spoke about the growing trend of physical assaults on media persons in the state of Maharashtra. He stated that as many as 800 cases of physical assault on press persons have been committed in the state in the last 15 years. “I recently issued a show cause notice to CM Prithviraj Chavan asking him why the PCI should not have the right to recommend the dismissal of the Democratic Front government to the President for dereliction of safety of journalists. In response, the CM has assured to take action for safety of journalists,” he said.
The PCI chief reiterated that the council would not tolerate physical attacks on media persons and strict action would be initiated against state governments failing to ensure safety of working journalists.
Katju stated that social media must be regulated by government in order to prevent social disturbances caused by provocative matter published online. “I have asked the government to form a committee to place restrictions on social media. A panel should be immediately set up so that the social media can be regulated and information unsuitable for public consumption must be filtered out,” he said.
Katju clarified that he was not against blocking of these sites like it is done in China. However, a certain degree of regulation was required to prevent its misuse.