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Press Council of India may turn Media Commission

Special Correspondent

Coimbatore: The Press Council of India is likely to get powers to ensure that orders passed during adjudication are enforced in their letter and spirit.

In the absence of such powers, the adjudication orders will be rendered meaningless, G.N. Ray, retired Judge of the Supreme Court and Chairman, Press Council of India, told reporters here on Friday.

He said the Council had never sought punitive powers since it never wanted to be a punishing body. There had been remarks that it was a toothless tiger. However, the Council was of the opinion that it required “teeth” to ensure enforcement of its adjudication orders and not punitive action.

The “teeth” would help the Council ensure that the publications concerned were asked to publish the adjudication orders so that the public was kept informed.

Mr. Justice Ray pointed out that the Press Council of India Act of 1965 never included the newer forms of media. Now to have them come under the Council's purview, it was in consultation with the government for changes in the council's constitution and to change itself as the Media Commission.

On the demand to amend the Indian Penal Code for having a section to protect the rights of journalists, Mr. Justice Ray said that the Council sub-committees would examine it and place it before the government.

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