Punjab govt sets up committee to look into media complaints

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Chandigarh, Nov 4 (UNI) The Punjab Government today decided to set up a state level and district level joint committees of government and media representatives to look into complaints of mediapersons.

These committees will also look into complaints against mediapersons.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has given his consent for setting up such a committee at the state level and at district levels.

These committees would also advise the Government on the guidelines to be observed for greater media-government interaction and understanding. These committees would also keep the Minister for Information and Public Relations apprised of suggestions and recommendations from time to time.

Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains would be the Chairperson of the state level committee. The Deputy Commissioners would head the panels in their areas.

Giving details Mr Bains said that the state level committee would also include the Principal Secretary Department of Home Affairs and Justice, President or Secretary General of the Chandigarh Press Club besides a representative of the organisation of the 'aggrieved' journalist or of the person who brings forth a complaint against the media person/persons. Legal experts would also be members of these committees.

Similarly, the district level committees would consist of the Deputy Commissioner, District Information and Public Relations Officer, an accredited journalist (to be nominated by the media), a representative of the organisation of the 'aggrieved' journalist or his perceived victim/victims and a nominee of the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Punjab and Chandigarh journalists met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at his residence this morning. The delegation asked the Chief Minister, among other things, to set up the joint Media-Government advisory panels.

The delegation lead by Mr Sarbjit Singh Pandher, President, Chandigarh Press Club, also sought an impartial inquiry into the alleged harassment of a journalist in Jalandhar. Mr Badal directed his Media Advisor to personally ensure complete transparency and the observations of the rule of law in the Jalandhar incident which led to the police registering a case against the journalist at Phagwara and then arresting him.

UNI HS JS1707

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