Katju warns Ministers of legal action if ads to press stopped arbitrarily
New Delhi, Feb 4 : Press Council of India Chairman JusticeMarkandey Katju today threatened Ministers and officials and PSUswith legal action if they were found stopping advertisement to newspapers and journals without valid reasons.
That some newspapers should be punished just because they had taken position critical of the Government showed the pettiness of the mind, Justice Katju said.
Taking strong note of complaints against the Government of stopping advertisement to newspapers and journals without giving any show cause notice, the Press Council of India directed the
Government functionaries and agencies not to take such step without giving the press organisations concerned an
opportunity to be heard.
Stating that sometimes the stoppage of advertisement was related to the critical position taken by the newspapers against the government, PCI Chairman Markandey Katju has advised the government to develop tolerance to criticism.
''In a democracy, the people have the right to criticise democracy under Article 19 1(a) of the Constitution,'' he said.
He sought to emphasise that advertisements were the main source of revenue of the newspapers and withdrawing it without valid reasons was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.