Ex-PCI chairman Markandey Katju condemns privilege notice to OTV MD

New Delhi: Former Chairman of Press Council of India and retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju today termed the move of the Privilege Committee of Odisha Assembly to summon Managing Director and Co-founder of Odisha Television Ltd, Jagi Mangat Panda, as ‘undemocratic’.

“The leaders in Odisha are making a mountain out of a molehill. In a democracy, people have the right to criticise the government also.”

The former Press Council of India chairman further asserted that there should be freedom of speech in democracy and some tolerance as well. “The politicians should not get upset with such minor things,” he added.

Earlier yesterday, Jagi Mangat Panda had also expressed her anguish after appearing before the Privilege Committee of Odisha Assembly in connection with a breach of privilege motion moved against OTV last November.

“I have been working in Odisha for the past 22 years and created more than 2000 jobs in Odisha. And for the first time today, as a woman entrepreneur, I feel extremely harassed,” Jagi said, while speaking to media after appearing before the Assembly committee.

It is pertinent to mention here that Opposition party chief whip, Tara Prasad Bahinipati had moved a ‘Breach of Privilege Motion’ against OTV after the channel telecast a factual report on November 19, 2018 on how Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradeep Amat adjourned the House after being prompted by the House secretary.

Reportedly, the Privilege Committee of Odisha Assembly summoned Jagi Mangat Panda a week ago asking to appear in connection with the matter.

However, Bahinipati yesterday criticized the summon to the OTV MD and questioned, “Why was OTV MD Jagi Panda asked to appear before the Privilege Committee despite the fact that I had written to the Odisha Assembly secretary seeking withdrawal of the breach of privilege motion. It is extremely unfortunate.”