In the recent past India’s premier news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) has been caught for fake news items. Imagine one’s surprise when the agency’s Editor-in-Chief Vijay Joshi himself has fallen into a controversy for making false claims on his qualification. Parliament’s sacred rules for grant of media pass were bypassed for Vijay Joshi recently. Based on Joshi’s false claim, he was given a permanent pass having a Radio Frequency (RF) Tag, despite him having never covered Parliament proceedings.
The “claim” of having covered Parliament is a total lie by Vijay Joshi and it can be easily established by perusing his resume and his career record.
According to the rules, a journalist can be entitled to media pass with RF Tag only if he/ she has covered either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha with temporary Session Pass for at least 10 sessions continuously. But in the case of Joshi, this Rule was thrown into the dustbin and he was issued a Permanent Pass with RF Tag on the basis of his claim that he has covered Parliament. In fact, a note prepared by the Lok Sabha’s Press Section mentions that Vijay Joshi has “claimed” that he has covered Parliament. Normally every journalist and his/ her organization has to provide proof for the experience in Parliament coverage, which can be cross-checked with the attendance register kept at the entry of media gallery of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
But was any effort made to verify whether the 55-year-old Joshi actually covered parliament at any point in his career? Clearly, no such thing was done and the pass was given on the basis of a false affidavit given by Joshi, India’s premier news agency – PTI – which was supposed to transmit truth only.
The “claim” of having covered Parliament is a total lie by Vijay Joshi and it can be easily established by perusing his resume and his career record. Joshi had joined PTI earlier in 1986 as a trainee journalist and worked on the Desk. During that period, Joshi not only did not cover Parliament but did not even enter the Parliament complex. He might have seen the Parliament building from his PTI Desk’s office windows, say veteran PTI staffers. In 1989, Joshi quit PTI and joined the Associated Press. Soon after he was posted by the Associated Press to East Asian countries and was based in Singapore. So there was no chance of him covering the Indian parliament.
He was back to PTI only in February 2017 as it’s Editor in Chief with the blessings of the outgoing Chief MK Razdan, who controlled PTI for decades as his personal fiefdom with all sorts of political and media maneuvering. Actually, the then Executive Editor VS Chandrasekar was the most eligible person for the Editor-in-Chief post. But by his cunning ways, Razdan eased out the senior most Chandrasekar and air-dropped Vijay Joshi who was abroad for more than 28 years. Within two days of Joshi’s appointment, Executive Editor Chandrasekar who served his entire career with PTI was unceremoniously shunted out. The PTI staffers say that by the second week of February 2017, Chandrasekar was given marching orders in a “very cruel” way by the PTI Board, consisting of many newspaper owners. Chandrasekar now works with another news agency IANS.
Here the question is why Parliament authorities knowingly ignored the fake experience claim by Vijay Joshi. Giving false declaration is a crime and fit for registering a criminal case against Vijay Joshi.
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