A law to protect media persons from attacks will soon be a reality. The state government on Wednesday announced the formation of a six-member Cabinet sub-committee to look into the demand of an independent law. Senior Congress leader and industries minister Narayan Rane will head the committee.
Home minister RR Patil, co-operation minister Harshavardhan Patil, medical education minister Vijay Kumar Gavit, public works minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar and animal husbandry minister Nitin Raut are a part of the committee.
The decision to form a sub-committee was taken in the last cabinet meeting after the current draft-bill which is lying in the coffers for over three years saw resistance from the ministers and all-party politicians who said that that there should also be a counter rule to keep a check on erring journalists.
The committee will mull on forming a mechanism that will facilitate hearing of a complaint against media persons. The state had suggested a state-level press council but shelved the plan because it is not possible legally. Under the existing law, the entire country can have a press council (which is now based in New Delhi).
The committee has been formed following an assurance given by Chavan after the media exerted pressure on him after the murder of senior journalist J Dey who was shot on June 11, 2011 in Powai.
While talking to the media on Wednesday after weekly cabinet meeting, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the panel is expected to review the current draft bill and will also consider having a redressal forum for complaints against journalists.
It will also consider if creative artists and writers can be covered under the same law.