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Delhi HC seeks PCI's response on plea challenging rejection of INS nomination for membership

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Press Council of India (PCI) on a plea challenging the rejection of nomination of a member proposed by the Indian Newspapers Society (INS) for filling up vacancies in the PCI's 13th term.
Justice Jyoti Singh, in a May 12 order, issued notices to PCI and the Centre on a plea by INS challenging the March 17 order of the council rejecting nomination of Hormusji N Cama, Director of Mumbai Samachar and a member of the INS, for filling up vacancies in 'medium' newspaper category.
The court also stayed the nomination of a journalist who was held to be eligible for the 'medium' newspaper category and said no further action will be taken in furtherance of the March 17 decision. It said petitioner INS has made out a prima facie case for grant of interim relief and asked the authorities to file their responses before May 22.
Later, the matter came up before Justice Navin Chawla on May 22 when the counsel for the respondents, including advocate T Singhdev who was representing the PCI, sought time to file their replies.
The court granted them time to file their counter affidavits and listed the matter for further hearing on June 22 and said that the interim order of May 12 will continue.
Earlier in February, the court had set aside PCI's March 20, 2018 decision rejecting Cama's nomination and directed the council to reconsider it, keeping in view the material placed by INS.
The fresh petition by the society said, PCI reconsidered Cama's eligibility and rejected his nomination on March 17 and two other people have been nominated in the category of medium newspapers but the nomination is yet to be notified by the Centre.
The counsel for INS said PCI has wrongly calculated the circulation figures of the newspapers with which Cama is associated and has arrived at a conclusion that it falls in the category of 'big' newspapers.
The action of rejecting the nomination of respondent No. 3 (Cama) is tainted and mala fide, senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan, representing INS, contended.
According to the Press Council Act, the council consists of a Chairman and 28 other members.

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First Published: May 25 2020 | 1:48 PM IST

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