NEW DELHI: Press Council of India chairperson Justice Markandey Katju has again said that electronic as well as online media should be brought under the ambit of a body.
“The scope of Press Council of India (PCI) should be expanded by including the electronic media into its ambit,” Katju told reporters after chairing the PCI meeting in Panaji.
“The Press Council of India Act is dated 1966 when there was no television. Now there is a huge influence of television in our life. We have recommended that electronic media should also be brought under the ambit of the PCI,” he said.
It can be recalled that the Press Council of India Act was passed again in 1978 with some changes after Indira Gandhi had repealed it during the National Emergency in 1975.
Katju said that online media be also brought under the purview of the PCI which now covers only print media.
He also reiterated his demand for more powers to the Council. “The Parliamentary committee has also recommended that the PCI should have more powers. Currently, recommendations of the Parliamentary committee are under consideration,” Katju said.
He added that with the inclusion of electronic media, the number of members on PCI can also be increased thus giving proper representation to the newly-included sector.
“Right now there are 20 members from print. We can include 20 more from the electronic media,” Katju said.
Responding to a query, he said that the Council should be a regulatory body and not the controlling one. “I am against the controls. I am in favour of regulations. No freedom is absolute. Regulations have to be there,” Katju concluded.