Pune: President of Pune Cantonment Board (PCB), Brig Rajiv Sethi on Monday announced that media representatives should leave the meeting hall, minutes before the General Body (GB) meeting was to commence. This happened in spite of the fact that officials of PCB had formally invited the media to attend the meeting. When this was brought to his notice, Sethi said, “Media is putting blinkers on their eyes and their perspective was wrong”.
Incidentally, Sethi handed over charge to Maj Gen Prithi Singh as President of the PCB. Prior to the meeting, Public Relations Officer of PCB informed the media representatives through a message circulated on WhatsApp, that the GB meeting will be held on Monday at 11.15 am. Following the message, the media representatives arrived at PCB office well before the scheduled time. However, the meeting got delayed by an hour. Before handing over charge, as Sethi entered the meeting hall, he ordered the media representatives to leave the hall by saying the ward members and other officials had to interact with the new President.
Sethi said, “We have an internal meeting, so media representatives have to wait outside.” The media representatives objected to this, stating they had been waiting for more than an hour for the meeting to start.
While speaking about this incident, Priyanka Shrigiri, Vice President (VP) of PCB, said, “It was just a misunderstanding. The Board members and other officials of Cantonment had to interact with the new President, that is the reason why Sethi told media representatives to wait outside.”
‘No right to bar media’
“The GB meetings of Cantonment Board are not secret meetings and the public has right to know about the proceedings of the meeting,” an officer of Cantonment Board on the condition of anonymity said, adding, “There is no such law in Cantonment Act to bar media from attending GB. Media is invited to ensure transparency.” He said, “The media cannot be told to wait outside unless and until there is an internal meeting and the media should be informed earlier about it.”