Former Supreme Court judge C K Prasad has been appointed the chairman of the Press Council of India (PCI) for a second term, an official notification said. Prasad headed the media watchdog for three years from November 2014. He had succeeded Justice Markanday Katju. The central government hereby notifies the re-nomination of Justice C K Prasad, retired judge of the Supreme Court of India, as the chairman of the Press Council of India, said the notification of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, dated May 22.
The notification was made public today. A three-member committee headed by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, which met last week, had given its nod for appointing Prasad as the PCI chief for a second term. The Press Council of India is a statutory body with a mandate to act as a watchdog to oversee the conduct of the print media. It was reconstituted for three years in October, 2014 and the term ended in October last year. According to the Press Council Act, the council shall consist of a chairman and 28 other members. In March, the government had notified the names of eight nominated members of the reconstituted council, while 20 other names are yet to be announced.
Prasad had said that the Council has submitted the names of the other members of the revamped PCI to the Centre, which will decide on its notification. Last month, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) had accused the PCI chief of "biased" selection of new members. The claims were, however, rejected by the media watchdog, which said, laid down rules were followed in the process of induction of new members. The INS had also moved the Delhi High Court on PCI's rejection of its nominee after which the court stayed the Council's decision.
On April 9, eight prominent media bodies had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to defer a meeting of the "truncated" council scheduled on April 11, alleging that the PCI chairman had adopted "arbitrary" procedure to reconstitute the media watchdog. Countering the allegations, Prasad had said that he had followed the rules while making the nominations.