Army troop movement: Press Council to challenge HC order, says chief Katju
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Terming as "not correct" the Allahabad High Court order which prohibited all media reports related to the troop movement, Press Council of India (PCI) chairman Justice Markandey Katju today said the Council would soon challenge it in the Supreme Court.
"The Press Council of India will be challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court in the Supreme Court of India very shortly," the PCI chief, who is a former Supreme Court judge, said in a statement.
Katju said "with great respect to the High Court, I am of the opinion that the order of the High Court is not correct".
He said the Indian Army was not a colonial Army, but the Army of the Indian people who pay taxes for the entire defence budget. Hence, the people of India have a right to know about Army affairs, except when they compromise national security.
Katju noted the media has done an excellent job in exposing the Adarsh and Sukna scams in which senior Army officers were involved and they were well within their fundamental right of freedom of the media under Article 19(1)(A) of the Constitution to do so.
The court had directed Secretaries in the Home Affairs and I & B ministries along with Principal Secretary (Home) of the UP government to ensure there is no reporting or release of any news item related to movement of troops.
He said reporting troop movement near the Indian border or during war time should be prohibited as that may aid the enemy and cause harm to the armed forces by compromising national security. "However, in my opinion there can be no general prohibition on reporting of all troop movements," he said.
Katju referred to the reporting of alleged troop movement by 'The Indian Express' in its report published on April 4.
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