Hot Off The PressNews

Press Council of India while considering the communication received from Election Commission of India advises the print media to refrain from publishing article which in any way whatsoever predict the results of the elections during the prohibited period under Section 126A to ensure free, fair and transparent election.

In the council’s view, the prediction of election results in any form or manner by way of predictions, etc. by astrologers, tarot readers, political analysts or by any persons during the prohibited period is a violation of the spirit of Section 126A which aims to prevent constituencies still going to polls from being influenced in their voting by such predictions about the prospects of the various political parties.

Print media is hereby advised not to publish/publicise any such article of results, during the prohibited period i.e. between 7 am on 28-10-2020 and 6.30 pm on 07-11-2020 in the current General Election to the State Legislative Assembly of Bihar, 2020 to ensure free and fair elections.

Hence, in view of the above, newspapers/ news agencies are advised to adhere to the above mentioned time frame before publishing the article of elections results, etc.


Press Council of India

[Dt. 20-10-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of A.A. Sayed and Surendra P. Tavade, JJ. addressed a Public Interest Litigation filed by former IPS officers with regard to the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.

Media Trial

Present PIL was filed by former IPS Officers, raising concerns with regard to media coverage pertaining to the unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, which the petitioner’s states may tantamount to media trial.

Petitioners Counsel brought the Court’s attention to the “Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards” issued by respondent 3 — News Broadcasting Association which inter alia speaks of ‘principles of self-regulation’, impartially, objectivity, neutrality and privacy.

Further, the media advisory dated 28-08-2020 of the respondent 2 — Press Council of India has also been observed.

Bench on perusal of the above urged and expected the respondents to exercise restrain in the media reporting pertaining to the investigation of the unnatural death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput which would in any manner hamper or prejudice the ongoing investigation which is being carried out by the respondent 4 – CBI after imprimatur of the Supreme Court vide judgment and order dated 19-08-2020.

Court directed respondent 4 — CBI along with other respondents to file and affidavit in reply.

Matter to be listed on 10-09-2020.[Nilesh Navlakha v. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 895, decided on 03-09-2020]


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Sushant Singh Rajput death case| SC asks Mumbai Police to submit status of investigation so far; says truth must come out

Sushant Singh Rajput death | Bom HC defers hearing till 21st August, 2020 on plea seeking CBI investigation

Sushant Singh Rajput Death case| SC reserves verdict in Rhea Chakraborty’s plea seeking transfer of case from Patna to Mumbai

Bom HC | Citing Supreme Court’s verdict on transfer of investigation into unnatural death of Sushant Singh Rajput to CBI, Court declines to entertain PILs

Sushant Singh Rajput| Here’s why SC ordered CBI probe into the actor’s death [DETAILED REPORT]

Hot Off The PressNews

The Council has noted with distress that coverage of the alleged suicide by a Film actor by many media outlets is in violation of the Norms of Journalistic Conduct and, therefore, advises the Media to adhere to the Norms framed by the Press Council of India.

The Media should not narrate the story in a manner so as to induce the general public to believe in the complicity of the person indicted. Publishing information based on gossip about the line of investigation by the official agencies on the crime committed is not desirable. It is not advisable to vigorously report crime related issues on a day to day basis and comment on the evidence without ascertaining the factual matrix. Such reporting brings undue pressure in the course of fair investigation and trial.

The Media is advised to refrain from giving excessive publicity to the victim, witnesses, suspects and accused as it will amount to invasion of their privacy rights. Identification of witnesses by the Media needs to be avoided as it endangers them to come under pressure from the accused or his associates as well as investigating agencies.

The Media is advised not to conduct its own parallel trial or foretell the decision to avoid pressure during investigation and trial.

Further, the reporting of the alleged suicide by the actor by some of the newspapers is also in violation of the norms formulated by the Council for reporting on suicide. The norm prohibits publishing stories about suicide prominently and advises the media not to unduly repeat such stories. The media is expected not to use language which sensationalise or normalises suicides or presents it as a constructive solution to the problems. The Media is advised not to use sensational headlines or use photographs, video-footage or social media links while reporting on suicide cases.


Press Council of India

[Press Release dt. 28-08-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

The Press Council of India Chairman Justice C.K Prasad has noted with concern that a number of journalists working for Business Standard of the Business Standard Pvt. Ltd. have been terminated from its Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar bureaus.

While taking Suo-Motu cognizance of the case, Comments have been called for from the Management of the newspaper in this regard.


Press Council of India

[Press Release dt. 30-07-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Press Council of India Chairman Justice Shri C.K. Prasad has noted with concern attack on house of Prasantha Charkavarti senior journalist/General Secretary of Tripura Union of Working Journalists.

While taking suo-motu cognizance of the case, Notice for Comments have been issued to the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the DGP, Tripura in the matter.


Press Council of India

[Press Release dt. 13-07-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Publication of news items regarding government girls shelter home, Kanpur by unknown media institutions

Press Council of India Chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad has noted with concern filing of FIR against unknown media institutions on publication of news item about Government Girl Shelter Home, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Taking suo-motu cognizance of the matter, a reply statement on fact of the case has been called for from the Government of Uttar Pradesh.


Press Council of India

[Press Release dt. 25-06-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

Threat to terminate services of journalists associated with daily newspaper Hindu

The Press Council of India Chairman Justice C.K. Prasad has noted with concern that a large number of journalists associated with the daily newspaper Hindu and working at the Mumbai Bureau have been asked to resign from their position.

It has come to the notice that the management of the newspaper is not taking recourse to the terms and conditions by which they are governed and the terms and conditions of their appointment excluded the application of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 for redressal of their grievances rendering them remediless.

While taking Suo-Motu cognizance of the case, comments have been called for from the Editor, Hindu and Regional General Manager Hindu, Mumbai in this regard.


Press Council of India

[Press Release dt. 22-06-2020]

Hot Off The PressNews

The Press Council of India is distressed to know about the alleged attack on Mr Arnab Goswami purportedly for his views as journalist.

Every citizen in the Country including a journalist has the right to express their opinion which may not be palatable to many but this does not give any body the authority to strangulate such voice.

Violence is not the answer even against bad journalism.

The Council condemns this attack and expects from the State Government to apprehend the perpetrators of crime and they be brought to justice immediately.

While taking suo motu cognizance in the matter, Hon’ble Chairman has directed the Government of Maharashtra, through the Chief Secretary and Commissioner of Police, Mumbai to submit a report on the facts of the case at the earliest.


[Press Council of India]

PR/12/2020-PCI

[Press Release dt. 23-04-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

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

Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad expressed grave concern over the order issued by the Government of Andhra Pradesh dated 30-10-2019 granting permission to the Secretaries of respective Departments to initiate legal action with regard to the publication of false, baseless and defamatory news items against the print media through the public prosecutor.

The Chairman is of the view that the threat to prosecute media personnel, in general, shall demoralise the journalists in large which shall have a severe bearing on the freedom o the press. Not only this the problems which the order in question seeks to redress can very well be remedied by The Council itself.

While taking Suo-Motu cognizance of the issue, the Chairman has directed the Government of Andhra Pradesh through its Chief Secretary and Special Commissioner (I&PR)  to file a reply statement in this matter.


[Press Release dt. 01-11-2019]

Press Council of India

Hot Off The PressNews

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists (as on 02-04-2018) for regulation of fake news, which was later withdrawn (as on 03-04-2018), after an order for cancellation from the President’s office. After top editors and opposition parties accused the government of trying to control the media, the President’s office, said that such question of checking of fake news should be left to the media watchdog, i.e. The Press Council of India.

However, this amendment was made in the wake of the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media. As per the amendment, on receiving any complaints apropos instances of fake news, the same had to be referred to the Press Council of India (PCI) if it pertains to print media & to News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it relates to electronic media, for determination of the news item being fake or not. These regulating agencies were expected to complete the determination within 15 days. Once the complaint was registered, the correspondent/journalist whoever created and/or propagated the fake news, if accredited, would have had the accreditation suspended till such time the determination was made by the regulating agencies (mentioned above) regarding the fake news. The Accreditation Committee of the PIB consisting of representatives of both PCI and NBA would have been invariably reached out to (as per the amendment) for validating any accreditation request of any news media agency.

In case of any confirmation of publication/telecast of fake news having been confirmed by any of the above mentioned agencies, the accreditation (as per the amendment) was to be suspended for

  • a period of 6 months in the 1st violation and
  • for 1 year in the case of 2nd violation and
  • in the event of 3rd violation it would have been cancelled permanently.

Furthermore, the regulatory agencies were, while examining the requests seeking accreditation, supposed to examine whether the `Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ and `Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards’ prescribed by the PCI and NBA respectively are adhered to by the journalists as part of their functioning. The amendment made it obligatory for the journalists to abide by the said guidelines.

[Press Release no. 1527401, dt. 03-04-2018]

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting