Briefly discuss the main provisions of the Press Council Act, 1978?

1. Incorporation of the Press Council:-
Central Government shall establish a council by the name of Press Council of India.

2. Composition of the Council:-
The council shall consist of a chairman and 28 other members. The chairman shall be a person nominated by a committee consisting of the chairman of the council of states (Raj Sabah), the speaker of the house of people (Lok Sabah) and a person elected by the members of the council.
Out of the 28 members, 13 shall be nominated from among the working journalists. 6 shall be nominated from among persons who won or carry on the business of management of the newspapers. One member shall be nominated from among persons who manage news agencies.
There shall be a person having a special knowledge or practical experience in respect of education, science, law, literature and culture.
Five members shall be members of parliament of whom 3 shall be nominated by the speaker from among the members of the house of people.

3. Term of office and retirement of members:
The chairman and other members shall hold office for a period of three years. When a person nominated as a member is found not a legible for the post, he will have to resign from the post.
The term of office of a member nominated shall come to an end as soon as he ceases to be a member of the house from which he was nominated.
A member will have to vacate the seat if he is absent without excuse from three consecutive meetings of the council.
The chairman may resign his office by giving his notice in writing to the central government. Other members may resign their office by giving their notice in writing to the chairman.
A retiring member shall be eligible for re-nomination for not more that one term.

4. Conditions of Service of Members.
Chairman shall be a full time officer and shall be said such salary as the central government may think fit. Other members shall receive allowances or fees for attending meetings.

5. Committee of the Council
For the purpose of performing its function, the council may constitute from among its members for general or special purposes.

6. Powers and Function of the Council:

  • Objects and Functions: The objects of the council shall be to preserve the freedom of the press and to maintain and improve the standards of news papers and news agencies in India
  • General Powers of the Council: For the purpose of performing its functions of holding any inquiry the council shall have the same powers throughout India as given to the civil courts.