1 Minute View: RIP, Justice JS Verma

23 Apr,2013

It was sad to learn of the passing of J S Verma, the retired former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, the former chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and Chairperson News Broadcasting Standards Authority. In recent times, he is of course better known for the speed in which the three-member committee chaired by him made suggestions for amendments to the law on sexual assault against women.


In the crazy world of news channels trying to outwit each other for better ratings and revenues, it’s thanks to the retired justice’s rocksolid views and no-nonsense approach that the government did not interfere in the affairs of the news channels.


In the wake of November 26, 2008 terror attack, the pressure to regulate news TV was mounting from Members of Parliament of all political hues on the then I&B Minsiter Ambika Soni. In their attempt to gain numbers, news channels often compromised content quality. Remember, the folks who run the news business have their huge egos, and it required a Justice Verma to ensure that they saw reason and help him ward off any government intervention.


As we look back, it can be now said that it’s thanks only to someone with a reputation as impeccable as that of J S Verma at the helm of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority of India that the regulation-proponents were kept at bay.


The News TV community have much to thank the late J S Verma for the happy state they are in.




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