IJU seeks to intervene in Anuradha Bhasin case in SC16 Sep, 2019
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU), the largest and most representative union of working journalists in the country, has sought to intervene in the Anuradha Bhasin writ petition challenging the communications lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir, in the Supreme Court. IJU Secretary General Sabina Inderjit filed an Intervention Application (IA) in the apex court on Wednesday, to put forth the views of working journalists, ‘who are worst suffers of the information lockdown in J&K, particularly the Kashmir valley’.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is to hear the case on Monday, 16 September. Earlier the Press Council of India filed an Intervention Application in the case contending that national security and integrity of the country were paramount and the media should function within reasonable restrictions, which drew flak from IJU, eminent editors and other journalists’ organisations.
In its IA, the IJU has contended that the ‘lockdown’ in Jammu and Kashmir extinguished constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of expression and speech of journalists. It said the so-called facilities extended to the journalists to file their stories by email and telephones from the Media Centre were not secure and could lead to compromise the sources of journalists. It also contended that the measures impacted on the right to information of the common people in the country, violating their fundamental rights.
The Union said “the denial of accurate information through accredited press organisations reporting from the ground is especially problematic and dangerous since there have been several instances of fake and inaccurate reports being spread through social media about the ground situation in Kashmir”. “It is impossible to determine the genuineness and severity of the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and fake news stories in social media are exploiting and trivialising peoples legitimate concerns”, the Union said.