HC: Improve service conditions of journalists
Evident that journos not getting wages that as per central notification: High Court
The High Court of Uttarakhand has directed the State and Union governments to improve the conditions of service of the journalists/reporters/ correspondence as per the Majithia Wage Board recommendations notified by the Central Government on November 11, 2011 and as per the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955.
The State has been directed to consider increasing the pension of elderly journalists/reporters/ correspondents on the basis of consumer price index. These suggestions/recommendations are necessary to provide security and fearlessness in their professional pursuits. The division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Sharad Kumar Sharma issued the directions and recommendations, taking cognisance of a letter written by Nainital-based journalist Ravindra Devaliyal to justice Rajiv Sharma. According to the averments made in the letter, the regular appointed correspondents and temporary correspondents are facing immense monetary hardships. The wages paid to them are inadequate, despite the recommendations made by various committees from time to time. They discharge very important functions in the democracy but lack social security. The petitioner had sought directions to the respondents for protecting the social and economic interest of journalists/reporters/correspondents. In its order, the high court stated that it is evident that the journalists/reporters/ correspondents are not getting wages as notified by the Central Government on November 11, 2011. The pension paid to the senior journalists/reporters/correspondents is also meager. The State Government is only contemplating to frame scheme for giving cashless treatment to the journalists/reporters/ correspondents. It is imperative in order to strengthen the fourth pillar of democracy to prepare the welfare schemes to improve the service conditions of journalists/reporters /correspondents including fair wages and other allowances. The court pointed out that the Government of India has constituted six wage boards since 1955. The responsibility for implementation of the recommendations lies with the State Governments. In order to monitor the implementation of the notification issued on November 11, 2011, a Central Level Monitoring Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Principal Labour and Employment Adviser. The first meeting of the Central Level Monitoring Committee was held on September 24, 2012 at Hyderabad while the seventh meeting was held in Delhi on October 16, 2015. It was also attended by the representatives of the States/ Union Territories including Uttarakhand, the court observed. It also recommended/suggested the State of Uttarakhand to frame Welfare Fund Rules, on the analogy of States of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha etc for the welfare of journalists/reporters/correspondents.
It also recommended/suggested that pension scheme/health scheme be framed by the State Government to be regulated by the additional chief secretary/director of Information and Public Relations, Government of Uttarakhand by creating necessary corpus on the analogy of scheme framed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
The State Government may frame scheme for journalists for providing certain reservation in housing plots/flats in government housing schemes. In its order, the HC also stated that it remembers the metonymic adage coined by English author Edward Bulwar Lytton in 1839 -“The pen is mightier than the sword”. read more posts…
Tuesday, 13 November 2018 | PNS | Nainital–
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