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High Court stays criteria for categorization of newspapers

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Srinagar,: Taking cognizance of reservations by some editors of empanelled newspapers regarding the criteria for categorization of newspapers for distribution of Government advertisements, Jammu and Kashmir High Court in a writ petition has stayed the proceedings of categorization of newspapers.
According to Kashmir News Service (KNS) Court correspondent, High Court Jammu vide OWP No. 1280/2018; IA No. 1/2018 in a writ petition filed by one Surinder Sharma has stayed the proceedings till further hearing.
Advocate Abhinav Sharma on behalf of petitioner Surinder Sharma told the Court that Petitioner feels aggrieved of the items 4,8, and 9 of the criteria adopted by DIPR for the categorization of empanelled newspapers and periodicals for distribution of the govt advertisements, primarily on the ground that the conditions so imposed are contrary to and not in consonance with the advertisement policy, 2016 formulated by Govt vide Order No. 09-ID of 2016 dated 4-3-2016 pursuant to State Administrative Council (Cabinet) Decision No. 11/3/2016 dated 3-3-2016.
Justice Janak Raj Kotwal after listening to Advocate Sharma observed that on comparing the impugned conditions with the Advertisement Policy, 2016, provided two weeks’ time to concerned authorities to file the counter.
The petitioner had serious reservations over giving 10 points to editors having own printing press and NIL to those editors who don’t have their own printing press. 2ndly over minimum 10 employees with Employees Provident Fund (EPF) account, besides ESI of at least ten employees engaged with newspapers.
The officials of the DIPR said that the Categorization of the newspapers is aimed at ensuring judicious distribution of advertisements to the newspapers and other periodicals. He said the Department is yet to receive the High Court order and would proceed as per the directions of the Court

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