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The Press Council of India is a statutory, quasi-judicial authority set-up by an Act of the Parliament. It functions under the Press Council Act, 1978.

Section 14 of the Press Council Act,1978, empowers the Council to warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist concerned or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist if it finds that a newspaper or a news agency has offended against the standards of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or a working journalist has committed any professional misconduct, on the receipt of complaint or otherwise.

Electronic media, TV news channels, social media i.e. Whatsapp/ twitter/Facebook do not come under the jurisdiction of the Press Council of India.

Complaints against and by the print media are adjudicated by the Council by adhering to the Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) Regulations, 1979.


Press Council of India

[Press Release dt. 14-04-2020]

PR/9/2020-PCI

Hot Off The PressNews

Election Commission of India: Since the General Elections to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 were announced on 10-03-2019, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into operation.

It has come to the notice of the Commission that certain political contents, which are not in conformity with the MCC, are being displayed or intended to be displayed to the public through electronic media including cinematograph in the public, which relates to either a candidate or a political party or a specific achievement of the party in power and hence these are displayed with the purpose of furtherance of electoral gains during the period of Model Code of Conduct.

So far, the Commission has received complaints about certain cinemas namely ‘NTR Laxmi’, ‘PM Narendra Modi’, and ‘Udyama Simham’, which are claimed to either diminish or advance the electoral prospect of a candidate or a political party in the garb of creative freedom. 

Therefore, the Commission hereby orders:

  1. That any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of MCC.
  2. That any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospect, directly or indirectly, shall not be put to display in electronic media in the area where MCC is in operation.
  3. That any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospect, directly or indirectly, shall not be put to display in print media, without the prescribed instructions of pre-certification.
  4. That in any cinematograph material, certified by the appropriate authority, if there exists such a violation or on receipt of a complaint in this regard, a Committee, duly constituted by the Commission, shall examine the same and suggest appropriate action. This Committee shall be headed by a retired Justice of Supreme Court or retired Chief Justice of any High Court.

Please refer the link for detailed notification: NOTIFICATION

[Order dated: 10-04-2019]

Election Commission of India

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Central Information Commission: In response to appeal filed seeking information on all the files related to operation “Blue Star”, CIC disposed of the appeal by stating that “the disclosure of information would have been prejudicial to internal security of the nation”.

The appellant had initially sought information on all files related to operation blue star with CPIO, PMO. Appellant contended that disclosure of information at such belated stage in no way could prejudicially affect the security or strategic interests of the State, unless the Indian Army had done any injustice.

Commission had asked the CPIO for written submissions, in which the CPIO stated that disclosure of these records at any point would have severe implications on the integrity of the State and invariably enable anti-national elements. By keeping in mind the current scenario, where the electronic media has reached every nook and corner, the said information would have an instantaneous effect. CPIO by stating the instance of assault of Lt. Gen K S Brar (Retd.) of Z plus category of security only for his involvement in the conduct of operation blue star, wanted to bring out the gravity of disclosing the information asked upon.

Therefore, Commission after keeping in mind the above contentions of the appellant found no merits in it and had further conceded with the view of CPIO that disclosure of the records would be a potential cause for the incitement of offences of varied nature and a threat to the internal security of the State. [Navdeep Gupta v. CPIO, CIC/IARMY/A/2017/602079/SD, dated, 27-03-2018]