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Attacks on Journalist​s: Press Council chief serves dismissal notice on CM

22.2. 2012

Shri Prithviraj Chavan,
Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
,

Dear Chief Minister,

A delegation of eight from met me today and apprised me of a large number of physical on /media houses in the State of Maharashtra including the recent one on Times of building in Mumbai allegedly by Shiv Sena people.

I was informed that in the last ten years well over 800 journalists were physically attacked, while in the last two and half years
213 journalists were attacked by political workers and anti-social elements. More shocking was the day light – murder of veteran journalist J.Dey.

In this connection I had written two letters to you but there was no response from your side to either of them. Did I not even deserve the courtesy of a reply?

Freedom of the Press is a guaranteed Constitutional right under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, and it is the duty of the to uphold the freedom of the press in view of section 13 of the Press Council Act.

It is the duty of the State Government to maintain law and order in the State, but it seems to me that your Government is neither able to maintain law and order nor prevent attacks on journalists, which seriously imperils freedom of the press.

You are, therefore, requested to now show cause why I should not recommend to the President of India to dismiss your under Article 356 of the Constitution since your Government apparently seems to have failed to uphold the Constitution as it has failed to uphold the freedom of the press under (1) (a).

Please give a reply to this letter within three weeks from today after which I will take such action as is fit in the circumstances.

Yours sincerely,
(Markandey Katju)

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