Press Council of India (PCI) chief Markandey Katju has slammed the "ugly display of temper" by Himachal Pradesh Congress leader Virbhadra Singh after the latter threatened to break cameras of mediapersons, saying such increasingly intolerant behaviour by politicians against journalists was unacceptable in democracy.
"It is deeply regrettable that certain politicians are of late becoming increasingly intolerant towards the media, and are not behaving in a manner which is expected of them in a democracy," he said.
"If something untrue is published about a politician, he certainly has a right to get his rejoinder published, but losing one's balance or giving an ugly display of temper is just not acceptable in a democracy," Katju said.
Five-time Himachal CM, Singh had issued the threat to mediapersons after being asked about allegations of income tax evasion and money laundering against him at Ani in Kullu district on Tuesday.
The Press Council of India chairperson said that in a democracy it was the people who were supreme and politicians were only servants of the people.
The media acted as an agent of the people for giving them information about their servants and intolerant behaviour by politicians had no place in a democracy.
In his statement, Katju also referred to previous instances where he felt that the political class had not been tolerant enough towards the media.
In an apparent reference to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the PCI chief said: "There was a statement of a chief minister of a certain state that a section of the media is doing 'dadagiri' and spreading negative canards about the state government."