Resolution on Press Council of India
July 1st, 2014
The National Executive Committee Meeting of the Indian Journalists Union (I.J.U) was held at Haridwar (Uttarakhand) on July, 1st, 2014 criticised and condemned the decision of the Press Council of India not to recognize the I.J.U. represented by President Akhouri Suresh Prasad (Suresh Akhouri). The decision is arbitrary, illegal, immoral, unethical and based on partiality. It is complete discrimination and betrayal towards a journalist body which enjoys over whelming majority of the journalists in the country and are fighting for better wages, job security, improved service conditions and free from all pressures under the banner of I.J.U. represented by President Akhouri Suresh Prasad(Suresh Akhouri). The I.J.U spread all over the country and is represented by as much as 24 state unions of the country affiliated to it.
The Indian Journalists Union was recognized even in the eleventh term of the Press council of India. Then chairman justice G.N.Ray accepted the panel filled by the President Suresh Akhouri and had not considered the panel submitted by then I.J.U secretary- General K. Sreenivas Reddy. That time Mr. Reddy had submitted a separate panel in the name of I.J.U.
When the notice was published in the newspapers on 13 September, 2013 inviting claims for the Press Council of India for 12th term from the unions, the Indian Journalists Union staked its claim and submitted all the documents and papers required by the P.C.I on stipulated date on 11.11.2013. In the same notice it was mentioned that "the claimant organization to a declaration that the claim of the body is free from all encumbrances and that no intra-- organizational factional dispute election of office bearers etc. exists or is pending in any court of law anywhere in the country. The Council will be free to reject any claim if such dispute is brought in its notice at any stage during reconstitution process."
It is pertinent to mention here that that Indian Journalists Union while filling its claim had also declared that a civil suit is pending in the Patiala House Court, New Delhi filed by the I.J.U. photographers. Press council Act section 5(3) (a) provides for representation for two categories of working journalists namely the editor and second is other than editor. It does not say about the separate categories for sub-editor, reporter, correspondent or cameramen.
According to a another R.T.I.information Press Association of India, New Delhi did not file any return and other documents for many years. RTI information has further revealed that the Working News cameramen's Association also did not file annual returns for many years which is a mandatory requirements. Then on what basis Press Council of India has recognized these two bodies?
National Executive Committee resolution expressed its regret that the sectional and regional bodies, which do not exist in the records of Registrar of Trade Union or Registrar of societies, have been recognized by the Press Council of India, which is illegal and is totally against the published Eligibility Rules. It amounts to gross violation and abuse of Rule 3 of the Press Council (procedure of nomination) Ruls.1978. Thus the bogus and defunct bodies have manipulated their way in to the 12thPress council, contravening the law, rules and procedures, but the genuine journalists organization like Indian Journalists Union, which fulfils all requirements, has been arbitrarily kept out.
National Executive Committee came to conclusion that the entire recognition of claimant organization smack of secrecy and darkness with a view to favoring some individual and denying its due to the Indian Journalists Union for representation in" the Press Council of India. The Press Council with representatives of dubious organizations can hardly fulfill its lofty aims and objectives. Because of these reasons the authority of Press Council has considerably declined in the few years. So long its composition remains questionable; it will hardly inspire anybody that it is observing lofty norms of journalism.
The Indian Journalists union is a victim of conspiracy. Union is aggrieved of the manner in which Press Council is now being reconstituted, violating its own statutory rules, which was widely published in various newspapers, regarding procedure for the reorganization of Working journalists organizations seeking representation in the 12th Press Council. I.J.U. will not tolerate this injustice. I.J.U will fight it out at all forum untill get justice.
We demand both from Press Council of India as well as Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry to give recognition to the Indian Journalists Union headed by Akhouri Suresh Prasad (Suresh Akhouri) and invite him to submit the panel of names. Also de-recognize the name of S.N.Sinha as president of I.J.U. as the same is illegal and arbitrary.
The IJU further demands removal of other two bodies which have got recognition on the basis of deception bearing Civil Suit no-133/13 restraining K.sreenivas Reddy, S.N.Sinha, D.Amar , Andhra Pradesh Union Of Journalists and others to use the name and seal of Indian Journalists union and the same is still pending in the court and the matter is subjudice before the competent court. The IJU also declared that a case of intra union rivalry is also pending in the Tadepalliguda court (Andhra Pradesh). The declaration was attested by the Notary as required by the P.C.I. The I.J.U. submitted the certified copies of the court proceedings of the Patiala House Court to the P.C.I. with its claim.
The I.J.U Presiden Suresh Akhouri had written a separate letter to the chairman of the Press Council of India on 27.01.2014 and sent by speed post on 30.01 2014 informing him that the civil suit is pending in the Patiala House Court, New Delhi and opposed the nomination of Mr. K. Amarnath in the screening sub - committee formed by the P.C.I, who defected from the I.J.U. and is hostile to genuine and most vibrant organization-I.J.U.
National executive committee firmly believe that Mr. K. Amarnath has manipulated and influenced the committee to take such unethical and illegal decision not to recognize the I.J.U represented by Suresh Akhouri as its president and recognized S.N. Sinha as I.J.U. president which is contrary to law, rules and procedure.
I.J.U. has not been informed as to why it has been kept out. No hearing was ever offered to the I.J.U. despite the claim and representation. The chairman of the Press Council of India did not acknowledge the I.J.U. President letter dated 27.1.2014. Thus the basic principle of natural justice i.e. right to hearing before taking any decision in the matter of I.J.U. has been grossly violated. The silence about the claim and representation to the Press council of India itself speaks of conspiracy and ill- will.
National Executive Committee passed a resolution on the Press Council of India, noted the fact that the information received from the Registrar of Trade Union of N.C.T. Delhi on December 10,2013 through R.T.I. clearly stated that Akhouri Suresh Prasad is the president and M G. Prabhakaran is the General - Secretary of the I.J.U. and it filed audited balance sheets also. Then on what basis Press Council of India recognized the Indian Journalists Union (S.N.Sinha, President) which is not even a registered body. S.N.Sinha has never been president of I.J.U. and he has illegally proclaimed himself as the president of I.J.U and more over a civil suit is pending in the Patiala House Court, New Delhi. The resolution said that the Press council of India illegally recognized S.N.Sinha as president of I.J.U. Thus it has lost its credibility.
The resolution further said that the Press Council of India recognized two bodies - Press Association, New Delhi and Working News Cameramen's Association. They do not represent journalists of all categories. They are sectional. Press Association represent only special correspondents based in New Delhi and News cameramen's Association represent only.