The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), a self regulator of 40 private news channels on Thursday asked the Prime Minister to restrain justice Markandey Katju, the newly-appointed chairman of the Press Council of India from making sweeping statements about the media.
"We understand from statements made by Justice (retd) Katju that he has written to you on the subject of the formation of a Media Council, which suggestion you are considering," the NBA said in its letter to PM.
"We strongly oppose this move by the Chairman of the Press Council of India," the NBA said.
The letter followed comments made by justice Katju in an interview to a TV channel in which he had said that the NBA's attempt to adopt self regulation under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India, JS Verma "simply isn't working"; and that "there must be some fear in the media" which can only happen with a "danda".
The NBA said Katju has "vociferously aired his sweeping and generic views on diverse matters like reporting news, what, when and how news should be reported…and the intellectual calibre of journalists."
Justice Katju's emphasis was on "how the media should be reined in and in particular the electronic media, even though the electronic media is statutorily beyond the remit of the PCI, the NBA complained to PM.
In the letter, the NBA told Singh that it was "with distress that we are compelled to bring to your notice the unwarranted comments" of Justice Katju.
"We earnestly request you to intervene and request the Chairman, PCI to engage himself constructively with print media matters..and not to exceed his remit and to exercise restraint on commenting upon areas which are outside his jurisdiction," it said.