Press Council of India Objects to Restrictions on Print Media in Maharashtra

The Press Council of India sent a notice to the Government of Maharashtra concerning the prohibition of newspapers. Justice C.K. Prasad, Chairman of Press Council of India has expressed his concern on the Order no. DMU/2020/CR.92/DisM-1, dated 18th April 2020, in addition to Order no. DMU/2020/CR.92/DisM-1, dated 17th April 2020. The Government of Maharashtra on April 18th prohibited door to door delivery of newspapers due to the COVID-19 transmission. Later on April 21st, the Government of Maharashtra revised its guidelines. It restricted the delivery of newspapers to Mumbai and Pune.

However, previously, on March 23rd the Government of India issued an order stating proper functioning of print media is essential not only to create awareness amongst the people but also for keeping the nation updated about COVID-19. The Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories received the order. In addition to this, on March 24th, the Press Council of India had also advised State Governments and Administrative Authorities to take necessary measures to ensure the smooth working of the print media and agencies within their jurisdiction in view of the risk of COVID-19 outbreak. Consequently, PCI took suo-moto cognizance. Henceforth, a notice for comments issued to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra. PCI seeks an explanation of the issue the Hon’ble Chairman has issued