The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Chairman of the Media Advisory Council of the Rajya Sabha over non-issuance of press passes to freelance journalists [Anil Chamadia vs. The Chairman, Media Advisory Council, Rajya Sabha].
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Jyoti Singh of the Delhi High Court issued notice after hearing petitioner's counsel Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy.
"Exemption application is allowed. Notice shall be issued. The notice stands returnable on September 27," the order said.
Petitioner Anil Chamadia submitted that he had an annual press pass from 2009-2017.
"From 2009-2017 I had an annual press pass. However, the Media Advisory Committee of the Rajya Sabha took away my privilege and subsequently my access to House," Guruswamy contended on behalf of Chamadia.
Guruswamy also placed reliance on the Supreme Court judgment in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India regarding press freedom.
"According to Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution, any restriction imposed on the press must be reasonable. However, here it's taking away the 22+ years of experience of a journalist. Once you take that away, you are disproportionately impacting the freedom of the press," she argued.
Advocate Tatini Basu appeared for the Media Advisory Council.
The matter will be heard again on September 27.