Press Council of India 14
S.No Contents Para No. Page No.
1 . Our Vision 01
2 . Our Mission 02
3 . Our Jurisdiction 03
4 . Our Services 04
Our Clients 05
(i) Cases of violation of ethics 5(i)
(ii) Cases of threats to press
6 . Composition of the Council 06
7 . Term of the Council 07
8 . What constitutes a Complaint ? 08
9 . Time limit 09
1 0 . Procedure for Complaint 10
(i) Mandatory requirements of
1 1 . Processing of the Complaint 11
1 2 . Obligations on the Press 12
1 3 . The Secretariat 13
(i) Allocation of work among
Press & Registration Appellate
(i) Composition 14(i)
(ii) Object 14(ii)
1 4 .
(iii) Procedure 14(iii)14
(iv) Powers 14(iv)
(v) Decision 14(v)
1 5 . List of officers upto the level of
Under Secretary’s with
1 6 . Grievances Redressal
1 7 . Time Schedule 17
Meeting Section 17 (i)
Levy Section 17 (ii)
Editorial Section 17 (iii)
Complaints Section 17 (iv)
Legal Matters 17 (v)
1 8 . Objectives of Citizen’s Charter 18
1 9 . Expectations from the Clients /
2 0 . The Sta keholders & their
2 1 . RTI Act, 2005 21
2 2 . Review of Citizen’s Charter 2214
“Freedom with Responsibility”
“The Press Council is committed to provide its
services to the citizen with utmost speed complete
transparency and honesty”.14
The twin objects of Press Council of India as embodied in Section 13 of
the Act of 1978 are to
(i) Preserve the freedom of the Press and
(ii) To maintain and improve the standards of newspapers and news
agencies in India.
(iii) An Appellate Authority under the Press & Registration of Books
Act 1867, grant redress to a person aggrieved by an order of a
Magistrate refusing to authenticate a Declaration under Section 6
or cancelling an existing Declaration under Section 8-B of the
s aid Act of 1867. (Refer at Annexure –I)
The mission of Press Council of India is to help newspapers and
news agencies to maintain their independence; to build up a code of
conduct of newspapers, news agencies and journalists in accordance
w ith high professional standards, to ensure on the part of the
newspapers, news agencies and journalists the maintenance of high
standards of public taste and foster a due sense of both the rights and
responsibilities; to keep under review any development likely to restrict
the supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance; 14
to promote a proper functional relationship among all classes of persons
engaged in the production or publication of newspapers or news
agencies; and to concern itself with development such as concentration
of or other aspects of ownership of newspapers and news agencies
which may effect the independence of the press.
The whole of India including Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim.
· Redress the complaints made by the general public, the
newspaper and the journalists regarding violation of the norms of
journalism or of the freedom of the press.
· Either suo-motu or on a reference made to it by the Government,
undertake studies and express opinion in regard to any bill,
legislation, law or other matters touching the Press and convey
opinion to the authorities or the persons concerned.
· In a case of public importance, touching its statutory
responsibilities, suo-motu take cognisance and make on-the- spot
Cases of violation of ethics:
· Citizens of India, not necessarily the person aggrieved or directly
involved, unless the plaint carries a charge of defamation.
Foreigners may also lodge a complaint against a paper published
within the jurisdiction of the country.
Cases of threats to press freedom:
· A newspaper, a journalist or any institution or individual can
complain against Central or State Government or any
organisation or person for interference with free functioning of
the press or encroachment on the freedom of the press.
Composition of the Council
q Press Council is a statutory autonomous authority set up under
the Press Council Act, 1978.
q The Council is headed by a Chairman, a whole time officer who
by convention is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court and is
nominated by a committee consisting of the Chairman (Rajya
Sabha), the Speaker (Lok Sabha) and a person elected by the
members of the Council from amongst themselves.
q Consists of 28 other members. 14
ß Among whom, in accordance with such procedure as may
be prescribed by the working journalists and persons
owning newspapers, agencies as the case may be –
- 06 shall be editors;
- 07 shall be working journalists other than editors; the
editors and working journalists other than editors, in
relation to newspapers published in Indian languages shall
be not less than three and four respectively;
- 06 shall be nominated from among persons who own or
carry on the business of management of newspapers,
however there shall be two representatives from each of
the categories of big, medium and small newspapers;
- 01 nominated from among persons who manage news
- 03 persons having special knowledge or practical
experience in respect of education and science, law and
literature and culture of whom one each nominated by the
University Grants Commission, the Bar Council of India
and the Sahitya Academy.
- 05 Members of Parliament – three members of Lok Sabha
nominated by the Speaker and two members of Rajya
Sabha nominated by its Chairman.
Term of the Council14
q The Chairman and other members hold office for a period of three
years and in the event of any vacancy the member filling up the
vacancy shall hold office for the remainder of the term. The 20
persons repres enting the press are sent to the Council by associations
recognised by the Council as All India bodies representing the
What constitutes a complaint?
· Breach of the recognised ethical canons of journalistic
propriety and taste in the publication or non-publication of a
news-item or statement, or other material, like cartoons,
pictures, photographs, strips or advertisements, which are
published in a newspaper.
· Against any matter transmitted by news agency.
· Freedom of the press being threatened or encroached upon
through denial of facilities that helps in collection or
dissemination of news or through threats/harassment or
· Within two months in the case of a complaint relating to the
publication or non-publication of any matter in respect of dailies and
weeklies or in regard to any matter transmitted by the news
agencies, and 14
· Within four months in all other cases provided that a relevant
publication of an earlier date might be referred to in the complaint.
· Within four months of the misconduct complained of against any
professional misconduct by an editor or a working journalist.
Procedure for complaint
· Writing to the editor of the concerned newspaper first drawing his
attention as to what is considered to be a breach of journalistic ethics
or an offence against public taste and seeking right of reply.
· Mandatory requirements of a Complaint:
o The Complainant is requiredo to give the name and address of the newspaper, editor or
journalist against whom the complaint is directed.
o a clipping of the matter or news-item (s) complained of, in
o to state in what manner the impugned news-item (s) or the
material (s) complained of is objectionable with relevant
particulars, if any.
o if against non-publication of material, will have to say how
that constitutes a breach of journalistic ethics.
o to declare that “ to the best of his knowledge and belief has
placed all the relevant facts before the Council and that no 14
proceedings are pending in any court of law in respect of any
matter alleged in the complaint”; and
o “that he/she shall notify the Council forthwith if during the
pendency of the inquiry before the Council any matter alleged
in the complaint becomes the subject matter of any
proceedings in a court of law”.
Processing of the Complaint
· If a complainant does not comply with the requirements, the
complaint may be returned informing of the reason (s) and asking
the complainant to bring it in conformity with such requirements and
represent it within such time as may be fixed in that behalf. In the
event of further non -compliance, the complaint is liable to be
· If it is found that there are no sufficient grounds for inquiry, the
complaint may be dismissed and report it to the Council, otherwise
the editor of the newspaper, news agency or the other working
journalist concerned is served with the notice asking to show cause
why action should not be taken against him.
· The parties may adduce relevant evidence, oral or documentary and
make submissions in support of their contentions before the Council
by appearing personally or through their authorised representatives
including, legal practitioners.
· On the basis of the facts on record and affidavits or the oral evidence
adduced before it, the Council passes orders.14
· Where at any time in the course of the inquiry into the complaint, it
appears to the Council that the subject matter of the complaint is
substantially the same as, or has been covered by any former
complaint, the Council, may hear the parties, if desired and on its
recommendations, may pass such order as may be considered
necessary and the same shall be duly communicated to the parties.
· In the cases lodged against the press where the Council is satisfied
that a newspaper or news agency has offended against the standards
of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or working
journalist has committed professional misconduct, the Council may
warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the
editor or the journalist, or disapprove the conduct thereof, as the
case may be.
· In the cases lodged against the authorities, the Council invites the
statement of complainant in reply of the respondent authorities.
After inquiry, the Council is empowered to make such observations
as it may think fit in respect of the conduct of any authority
including government. (However, in certain cases the Central and
State Governments are quick to take remedial action in restoring
advertisements, newsprint or accreditation facilities. In such cases it
is the duty of the complainant to immediately inform the Council
about this and whether he/she would like to pursue the complaint
with the Council or not. This is necessary if the complainant want
that their complaints should be attended to by the Council in right
· Where the Council is satisfied that charges of threats to or
curtailment of the freedom of the press by an authority have been
established, it advises remedial action with the observation deemed
· Every case is determined by a majority of votes of the members of
the Council present and voting, and in the event of the votes being
equal, the Chairman has a casting vote.
Obligations on the press
· Fund of the Council comprises of two components. One grant in aid
from the Central Government and two, the fee levied upon
newspapers published in the country on an annual basis.
· The press is legally obliged to remit fees, which is levied on a
graded scale on all registered news papers and news agencies having
circulation of 5000 copies and above per issue through Demand
Draft within thirty days of the receipt of the Demand Notice from
the Council and failing which the amount can be recovered as
arrears of Land revenue under Revenue Recovery Act, 1890.
· When a publication is ceased/suspended, a declaration to this effect
be filed before the District Magistrate by the publisher/owner and a
copy of it be sent to the Press Council to enable it to stop legal
process of recovery.
· Any change in ownership or even change of address should be
Allocation of work among the divisions:14
· The secretariat of the Council comprises of the employees with
hierarchical structure and functioning system similar to the
Government of India. The officers of the rank of Under Secretaries
and above are enlisted at Annexure II. The Grievance Redressal
Mechanism of the Council may be seen at Annexure III.
· The Complaints Section of the Council processes the complaints
lodged before the Council under sections 14 or 15(4) of the Press
Council Act and the Appeals filed under section 27, read with
section 8(c) of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. The
process of inquiry and adjudication is handled by the Meetings
· The Levy Section has a responsibility to levy the fee and recover the
levy imposed on the newspapers under section 16 of the Press
· The Editorial Section of the Council brings out Annual Reports and
Quarterly house Journals namely the Press Council of India Review
in English, which carry Council’s adjudications, PRAB decisions
and other necessary information.
· The Hindi (Rajbasha) Section is responsible for ensuring the
implementation of Rajbasha Policy under which it brings out the
Hindi version of all the adjudications and reports of the Council,
apart from the day to day translation work. It brings out the Annual
Report in Hindi and a quarterly journal ‘The Press Parishad
· The reference Library of the Council provides information/
reference service to the press and the public such as press persons, 14
students, research scholars of various institutions and departments
on Press, law and other related subjects. It maintains clippings culled
out from 16 Indian newspapers, one foreign newspaper, 18
magazines and various reports of national and international
institutions on daily basis along with information on other various
subjects for ready reference.14
PRESS & REGISTRATION APPELLATE BOARD
The PRESS & REGISTRATION APPELLATE BOARD consists of
a Chairman and another member to be nominated out of the members of
2 . Object
To grant as an Appellate Authority redress to a person aggrieved by
an Order of a Magistrate refusing to authenticate a Declaration under
Section 6 of the Press & Registration of Books Act, 1867 or cancelling an
existing Declaration under Section 8(B) of the said Act.
The Appellant may prefer an appeal accompanied by the impugned
Order and other relevant documents under Section 8(C) of the Press &
Registration of Books Act, 1867 within 60 days from the date on which
such order is communicated to him. The Board may, however, entertain an
appeal after the expiry of the said period, if it is satisfied that the appellant
was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal in time.
On receipt of an appeal, the Appellate Board may call for record
from the Magistrate concerned and thereafter afford an opportunity of
hearing to the parties.
4 . Powers
The Press & Registration Appellate Board, after holding inquiries
into the matter, may confirm, modify or set aside the Order appealed
5 . Decision
The Orders of the Board are communicated to the parties in writing
dasti or by registered post.14
List of officers upto the level of Under Secretaries with telephone
*EPABX No:- 24366745/46/47/49-24366403/04/05-24366425-
Fax Extn.224 & 24368723 – 24368726 (Direct)
1. Shri Justice Ganendra Narayan Ray : 24368723 (O) –Direct
Hon’ble Chairman 24368720 (O)-Direct
2. Smt. Vibha Bhargava : 24368726 (O) - Direct
Secretary 42445315 (R)
3. Shri V.K.Bahl : 24368724(O)-Direct
Deputy Secretary 25496957 (R)
4. Shri Rakesh Chopra :Ext.204 (O)
Principal Private Secretary 24310019 (R)
5. Shri Ravi Kumar Uppal : ---------------
Under Secretary 42411568 (R)
6. Miss Usha Rani : *Ext.107 (O)
Library & Information Officer 22371484(R)
7. Smt. Punam Sibbal : *Ext. 301(O)
Under Secretary 22613531 (R)
8. Ms. Sangeeta Malik :*Ext. 303(O)
Under Secretary 25590103(R)
9. Shri S.K.Sharma :*Ext.106(O)
Principal Private Secretary 25122230 (R)
Shri Ravi Kumar Uppal, Under Secretary is on deputation with the Cyber
Grievance Redressal Mechanism
The address of the Grievance Officer of the office of Press Council of
India is as below:
Smt. Vibha Bhargava,
Press Council of India
Soochana Bhawan, Phase IV,
8, C.G.O. complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi – 110 003.
Fax No. 24366745/46/47/49 - Extn.224
Any person not satisfied by any service of the office of Press Council of
India or aggrieved by any other action or inaction by the office, can seek
redressal of his/her grievances through this officer. Such person may file a
written complaint neatly typed in duplicate. Every such person shall be entitled
to information about the action taken on his/her grievance within a period of 30
days from the date on which the complaint is received in her office.
If members of the Public desire to meet the Director Grievance in
connection with their grievances, they can do so on all Wednesdays between
4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. in her office.
If anyone wishes to offer suggestions for improvement of the
services provided by Press Council of India he/she can send them to the
Grievance Officer at the above address, or drop them in the Suggestion Box
available in the office.14
1. As per the Press Council (Procedure for Conduct of Meeting and
Business) Regulation 1979- for convening the meeting of the
Press Council, the notice shall ordinarily be issued to every
members at lease twenty one days before the meeting and the
said twenty one days are to be counted from the date of posting.
2. Power to raise matter at meetings: A member shall be entitled to
bring before the Council any matter only after having given ten
clear days’ notice to that effect to the Secretary and such matter
shall be put on the agenda of a meeting of the Council, provided
that the Chairman in his discretion allow such matter to be raised
at any meeting even without such notice.14
Sl.No. Service offered Type of Service Time Schedule
1 . Raising of Demand
In furtherance of Section
16 of the Press Council
Act, 1978, soon after
receipt of information
regarding periodicity news
agencies, the work of
raising of demand notices
are started from April 1 of
every financial year.
1) With in two months
from the date of receipt
of information from
2) Regarding the
completion of Annual
figure upto 10 June.
2 . Reminders Reminders are issued
after one month from the
date of issuance of
demand notice when
there is not response from
Within a period of one
3 . Legal Notice Correspondence are
being done with
respective DMs/DCs for
recovery of levy of fees
from defaulting news
papers/periodical of their
respective districts by way
of legal notices form 15
days of issuance of
Work is started after
checking the reasons
including ledger folios
and files and work is
completed before the
end of every financial
4 . Entry of fees remitted
by the parties.
The levy of fees remitted
by the parties are entered
in the respective ledger
folios maintained in the
section and thereafter TR
receipts issued by the
Accounts Section are
dispatched to the parties.
Within two week of
receipt of fees remitted
by the par t ies.
5 . Issuance of No Dues
Upon receipt of requests
from the parties No Dues
Certificate(s) are issued if
and when their dues are
Within two weeks from
the late of receipt of
the request in the
6 . Dealing with various
dealt with in the section.
Within two weeks from
receipt of the
communications in the
Sl.No. Nature of
be put up
i) Communication from the
General Public seeking
membership of the
within a week
As and when
Can be done
ii) Request for Messages
and Invitations to
Can be done
iii) Receipt from various
As and when
Can be done
iv) Misc. Communications
pertaining to the
within a week
-do- Can be done
i) Acknowledgment be sent within a week preferably requiring the
complainant to fulfil the requirements of Inquiry Regulations, 1979.
ii) In case the complaint is in conformity with Inquiry Regulations, 1979, a
show-cause notice be issued to the respondent within a fortnight from
the date of receipt of the complaint.
iii) In cases where the papers are complete like comments/written
statement/counter comments and there is a strong likelihood of listing
the matter before the Inquiry Committee. The matter could be
disposed of within a maximum of four/six months.
iv) Any reference received from the Ministry/Parliamentary
Question/VIP/MP or any other institution should be acknowledged
immediately informing that a proper reply will be sent in due course.14
1. Writ Petitions filed in the various Courts by complainants against
the decisions of the Press Council.
2. Writ Petitions filed by various Press Organizations in the various
Courts at the time of Reconstitution of the Press Council.
3. Writ Petitions filed in the High Court of Delhi/Supreme Court of
India w.r.t. Administrative matters.
Regarding the above matters, there is no time limit for disposal of
the Writ Petitions by the Council as the disposal of the matters is
dependent upon the Courts, as and when they list the matters for
hearing and later fix a date to pronounce their decisions.14
Objectives of Citizen’s Charter:
(i) To make everyone within the organization convinced that the only way to
organizational and personal growth is through complete satisfaction of the
citizen’s (complainants) and by meeting their stated as well as implied
(ii) Improving the quality of public service delivery in the Council vis -à-vis its
quasi judicial provisions and its amendment from time to time.
(iii) To declare the information on Citizens’ entitlements; making citizens better
informed and hence empowering them to demand better services.
(iv) To develop an effective grievance redressal mechanism, which operates in
a manner that leaves the citizens satisfied irrespective of the final decision
and also to make them understand the difference between a complaint
and the grievance.
(v) To educate the public about its endeavour of building up a code of conduct
for newspapers, news agencies and journalists in accordance with high
professional standards. Its various publications from time to time are
(vi) Prompt responsiveness of officials towards the public/ stakeholders.
(vii) Greater public satisfaction with services offered by the organization.
Expectations from the Clients / Citizen’s group :
(i) For better and prompt services, it is expected from the citizens group
(client) that their complaints are complete in all respects as per the
provisions set out there-in.14
(ii) All the registered news agencies and newspapers shall remit the graded
levy of fee to the Council promptly to augment its funds.
The Government of India through Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
being its administrative Ministry releasing grant-in-aid and various other
departments for its functional needs.
To uphold the sanctity of creation of the body under the Press Council Act,
1978, and to provide efficient services to the stakeholders and to discharge its
quasi judicial functions related to press, the Council expects the following from
the stakeholders, i.e. various wings of GoI.
(i) Timely release of sufficient grant-in-aid for efficient discharge of its
(ii) Timely approvals for its proposed amendments in acts, rules and
(iii) Provision of better infrastructure facilities for its functioning.
(iv) Bringing & maintaining the parity between the employees of the
Council and their counterparts in the central government to have highly
qualified, motivated and efficient workforce.
RTI Act, 2005 :
The GoI through Ministry of Law & Justice, Legislative Department vide Gazette
Notification dated 21.05.2005 enacted the Right to Information Act to provide for
setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to
information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency
and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a 14
Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters
connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Allocation of duties under RTI Act
(i) Appellate Authority under the ActShri V.K.Bahl, Deputy Secretary, Room No.147, 1
floor, Press Council of India,
Soochna Bhawan, 8, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110 003.
Telephone : 24368724 Fax: 24366745/46/47/49 extn:224 Email: email@example.com
(ii) The details of PIO and APIO’s are as under:
Telephone : 24366745/46/47/49 Extn: refer each numbers.
SNO. SECTION APIO PIO
1 Meetings Shri K.N.Pokhriyal
Section Officer, Room
No.348; Extn: 315
2 Complaints Shri Pradeep Bahl
Section Officer, Room
No.347; Extn: 320
Smt. Punam Sibbal,
Room No.352; Extn: 301
3 Editorial Smt. Sonia Malhotra
Room No.351; Extn: 331
Ms. Sangeeta Malik,
Room No.354; Extn: 305
4 Levy Smt. Asha Gogia,
Room No.349; Extn: 311
5 PLC Shri Ajay Madan,
Room No.149; Extn: 113
6 Admn Shri Ramesh Goel,
Room No.155; Extn: 110
7 Accounts Shri S.K.Maggon,
S ection Officer,
Room No.345; Extn: 323
Library and Information Officer,
Room No.146; Extn: 107
8 Hindi A.D.(OL) Smt. Punam Sibbal,
Room No.352; Extn: 301
9 Library ----------------------- Ms.Usha Rani,
Library and Information Officer,
Room No.146; Extn: 107
Review of Citizen’s Charter
The Citizen’s Charter will be reviewed annually for further improving our response to