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PIL in Delhi HC seeks medical, life insurance for journalists

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A public interest litigation (PIL) was on Monday moved in Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Central government to provide medical and life insurance to journalists, reporters and other media persons of at least Rs 50 lakh each.
The court said that there is no urgency in this matter and added that it will hear the petition when the lockdown is relaxed.
The petition, filed by social activist and lawyer Arpit Bhargava, sought direction for providing safety and security to media persons as well as providing medical and life insurance cover to journalists, reporters and other media persons who are working during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The plea sought directions to the Central government and Press Council of India to ensure safety and security of media persons by allowing 'work from home' for people associated with journalism/reporting/media, to ensure basic sanitation and other facilities at the workplace and otherwise, and not to cut salaries during lockdown period of 21 days till April 15, 2020.
It said that it is the responsibility of the government to provide social security to people associated with media, which is the fourth pillar of democracy, and due regard to their welfare in such times of emergency must be given.
The petition said that the situation will become grim for the public at large in case the media persons meet with an accident while interacting and collating news on COVID-19 and his/his family welfare is not taken into account.
"In the current circumstances, these services cannot be considered to be ordinary. Today, these people run the risk of getting infected themselves. Yet, they continue to fulfil their duties, serving others. As defenders of the nation, they stand firmly between us and the coronavirus pandemic," the plea said.
It also said that the media's effort was acknowledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address on March 20, 2020, in which he urged the public to express gratitude towards people working to fight coronavirus.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier announced a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover per person for health professional involved in fighting the menace of coronavirus.

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First Published: Mar 30 2020 | 2:44 PM IST

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