Ex-CJI for shutting down Press Council

  “Everyone knows the Press Council has failed in its mandate and how ineffective it has been. So, why not wind it up or scrap it,” Justice Verma said.

His remarks come in the backdrop of the raging controversy over the remarks made by PCI Chairman Justice Markandey Katju about regulating the electronic media and media persons’ intellectual capability.

Justice Verma, the former CJI who currently heads the National Broadcasters’ Association, a self-regulatory body set up by news channels, said the PCI should be shut down to stop “wastage” of public money.

“It (PCI) is run on public money, so why not save the money(by winding it up),” he told Outlook magazine.

Not against Katju

Verma, however, made it clear that his criticism was against the institution in general and not against any individual in particular.

Asked about Katju’s comments, he said “as far as the comments of (Katju) go, all irresponsible talk is best ignored.”

In a recent interview, Katju had said he had “poor opinion” of media personnel in general accusing them of often working in an “anti-people” manner and advocated more teeth to the Press Council of India to regulate them.

He had also said he had written to the prime minister for inclusion of television channels under the Press Council and renaming it as the Media Council.

Media bodies Editors Guild, the Broadcast Editors’ Association and the News Broadcasters Association have taken strong objection to the comments made by Katju describing them as “irresponsible and negative.”

The NBA headed by Verma made a representation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday requesting him to restrain the PCI chief.

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