COMPLAINT BEFORE P.C.I. AGAINST ORISSA ASSEMBLY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

New Delhi, May 04,05
When international community is observing Press Freedom Day, Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Representative-in-Chief of www.orissamatters.com, Orissa’s only web-journal that has been accorded Official accreditation, has filed a complaint case against the Speaker of Orissa Legislative Assembly, before the Press Council of India.

A journalist of four decades standing, Pattanayak has been covering Orissa Assembly since the early seventies as and when it meets, without ever having violated any of its rules and/or Procedures. He was last given Press gallery as well as Lobby Passes as a freelance journalist, accredited as he was in that capacity.

He surrendered his accreditation as a freelance journalist and duly got accredited as the Representative-in-Chief of www.orissamatters.com. He applied the Assembly Speaker to grant him permission to cover the Assembly, in this changed capacity and to issue him relevant passes accordingly. But it was turned down without any reason. He sent an appeal letter to the Speaker mentioning therein the difficulties he was to face professionally if he fails to report the proceedings of the House, specifically as that was the Budget session. This was not heeded to. There was no reply from the Assembly.

Mr. Pattanayak notified the Speaker on the infringement of Freedom of Press caused by his action in debarring him from covering the proceedings of the House and requested him to ensure that he shall not be subjected to any such debarment in future. But the speaker kept mum.

Finding himself thus disadvantaged and discriminated against, Pattanayak has brought the matter to the attention of the Press Council of India through a Complaint Petition filed here in person in the Headquarters. Office of the Council.

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