The Guahati High Court vide the order dated 21.20.2020 in the case Anirban roy v. State of Assam and Anr, issued notice to the Assam government over the exclusion of online media from its “Media Fellowship” for 2020-21, stating that the selection of candidates shall be subject to further orders.
Justice Suman Shyam was hearing a petition by senior journalist, Anirban Roy, aggrieved by the notification dated 18.09.2020 issued by the Government of Assam dropping the category of “Online Media (Web Portal)” from the list of beneficiaries for being conferred with fellowship. The counsel for the petitioner argued that the ground cited in the impugned notification dated 18.09.2020 is fallacious and therefore, has a vitiating effect on the impugned notification itself.
However, on behalf of the state, it was submitted that it is a matter of policy decision of the Government and therefore, some time may be granted to obtain instructions. The Additional Sr. Govt. Advocate, Assam entered appearance and accepted notice for all respondents. The Single Bench observed, “At this stage, I am not inclined to allow the said prayer. It is however made clear that the selection of candidate for conferring fellowship, if any, made in the meantime, shall be subject to further orders that may be passed in this writ petition”. It was asserted that, “The objective behind offering Media Fellowships to be selected journalists is to provide financial support for their continuous improvement of professional skills and up graduation of knowledge in journalism. The Government views that financial constraint should not be a hindrance while pursuing professional endeavors. This initiative will result in quality improvement in the field of journalism. Professional improvement and skill development will not only help the individual journalists, but also play a constructive role in he development of the society as well as the nation.