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Press Council Act, 1978

Press Council Act, 1978 is an Act to establish a Press Council for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India. It extends to the whole of India.

Under the Press Council Act, 1978, the Council by the name of Press Council of India has been established with effect from 1st March'79. The council is a body corporate having perpetual succession. The Council consist of Chairman and 28 other members. Section 13 of the Press Council Act lays down the objects and functions of the Council. The important functions of the Council are:

  • to help newspapers and news agencies to maintain their independence,
  • to build up a code of conduct for newspapers, news agencies and journalists,
  • to keep under review any development likely to restrict supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance.
  • To concern itself with the developments such as concentration of or other aspects of ownership of newspapers and news agencies which may effect the independence of the press.

The Press Council Act empowers the Press Council to make observations in respect of conduct of any authority including Government, if considered necessary for performance of its functions under the Act. It can warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist 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.

Following rules and regulations have been framed under the Press Council Act, 1978:

  1. Press Council (Procedure for Nomination of Member) Rules, 1978
  2. Press Council Rules, 1979
  3. Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) Regulations, 1979
  4. Press Council (Procedure for Conduct of Meeting and Bus
  5. Press Council (Budget and Accounts) Rules, 1981
  6. http://presscouncil.nic.in/