Taking potshots, Katju calls coalition govts ‘weak’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Taking potshots, Katju calls coalition govts ‘weak’

delhi Updated: Apr 18, 2012 20:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Markandey Katju

Taking on the government for not deciding to arm the media watchdog with more powers and bring the electronic media under its ambit, Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju on Wednesday said coalition governments were "weak".

Saying he had already written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking amendments to the Press Council Act, 1968, Katju said: "I have made my recommendation, but I don't think the government is going to take any decision."

Noting that similar recommendations had been made in the past too by various former PCI chairpersons, he said: "...But nothing has come out of it as evidently, the electronic channels are very powerful and a coalition government means a weak government. If there has been a strong government, it would have done it...the ball is in the court of the government.”

Katju said the two amendments proposed by him include more powers to the body as it currently has only powers to admonish and censure, "which is hardly anything."

The other amendment is to bring electronic media under the ambit of the Council.

On the issue of self-regulation by the electronic media, he said it was not always sufficient.

Katju also said that he did not agree with the government's reported stand that self-regulation should be given a chance and said societies have learnt that laws are required where self-regulation fails.

On the cartoon controversy involving West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Katju said Banerjee must learn to function in a democratic and more mature manner.

"I think Mamata Banerjee should have behaved in a more mature manner. She is no more a street fighter, she is the chief minister...the manner in which she has behaved is totally unacceptable."