The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered the state government to give facilities to working journalists like provided in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha etc. The court asked the government to increase the current pension of five thousand rupees per month to the journalists.
The case was heard before the Bench of senior judge Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma. Ravindra Develal, resident of Nainital sent a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court which stated that regular and irregularly appointed correspondents are battling financial problems.
Despite the suggestion of several inquiry committees, they are being given very little salary, which is barely enough for them to sustain day to day life. The petition said that journalists have a big contribution in society.
The petitioner had prayed to the court that instructions for meeting the social and economic needs of the reporters should be directed to the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the state government and others.
In this regard, the court was told by the government that various schemes have been run for journalists, for which five crore rupees have been issued. It was told to the court that after the death of the journalist or physical loss, the government gives Rs five lakh and ten lakh rupees in special circumstances.
It was told that seven journalists of more than 60 years of age are being given an old pension with this item. A budget of Rs 25 lakh has been kept for journalists’ health related problems. Free travel facility is also given to recognized journalists on Uttarakhand roadways buses.
After hearing the two sides, the High Court bench ordered the government to implement the labor laws of the journalists under the Working Journalist and Newspaper Inspections Act-1955. The court said that under Section 9, the Central Government, if necessary, constitutes a Wage Board.