ILNS: The Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has demanded that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has to withdraw his baseless statement made about KUWJ in the Supreme Court and publicly apologize for the same. Mehta had made the remarks during the hearing on providing better medical treatment for journalist Sidique Kappan on April 28.
KUWJ is the most organised and active collective of journalists’ in the country which has been championing for the cause of media rights and media persons for more than six decades. In his letter written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made it clear that he was requesting to ensure better medical care for Kappan on the basis of KUWJ’s plea also.
The flawed and prejudiced opinion of the highest legal representative of Union government reflects how shabbily important issues are being handled.
“In another way, perhaps it might be our mistake expecting righteousness from Mehta who had earlier included wrong inputs about KUWJ in the affidavit filed in SC in Kappan case on behalf of UP government. Mehta should check within the journalist fraternity in New Delhi, or in his circle about how KUWJ’s state supported pension and health insurance schemes had set a model in the country,” the complaint has said.
The complaint added: “Mehta’s cronies should not have told him that Kerala government used to consult KUWJ before pursuing any measures in media sector. Let me remind Solicitor General that it is KUWJ which established the first journalists’ owned press club in the country, in Kochi. It is the single organisation of working journalists of Kerala which has 3,500 full-time members and many more closely associate with.
“The solicitor general should learn from his legal friends about the historic fight we fought in SC to bring in Majithiya Wage Board, which fixed the wages and allowances for working journalist and non-journalist employees in India.
“We will approach the Prime Minister, Union Law Minister, Chief Justice of India and Attorney General, seeking action against Tushar Mehta for his baseless and highly condemnable remarks,” said KUWJ President K P Reji and general secretary E S Subhash.