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Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai assumes charge as PCI chief

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NEW DELHI: Retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai on Monday assumed charge as the chairperson of the Press Council of India (PCI).

She is the first woman chairperson of the print media watchdog with the government appointing her to the post after her name was cleared by a committee comprising Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and PCI member Prakash Dubey recently.

A gazette notification in this regard was issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on June 17.

Justice Desai, 72, had recently headed the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir which was set up to redraw the Assembly constituencies of the Union Territory.

She was a judge of the Supreme Court from September 13, 2011 to October 29, 2014.

The post of the PCI chairman was lying vacant since Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad (retd) demitted office last November after the completion of his term.

“Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai assumes charge as the chairperson, Press Council of India,” the Council said in a statement.

“The Council shall make all out efforts to preserve the freedom and independence of the press. While doing so, the Council shall be guided by the Constitutional principles,” the statement added.

Justice Desai later took charge as the chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity on December 1 2014 in Delhi and continued to serve in that capacity until November 30, 2017, the PCI said.

“She was appointed as the chairperson of the Advance Ruling Authority (Income Tax) in 2018 and held the position until October 29, 2019. She also chaired the Lokpal Appointment Committee. She was appointed as the chairperson of the Delimitation Commission of India on March 6, 2020,” the Council added.

Before her stint in the apex court, she was a judge of the Bombay High Court. (PTI)

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