The following are the functions of the Press Council of India:
o The first and foremost function of the press council of India is to protect the freedom of the
press and to maintain and improve the standards of newspaper and news agencies in India.
o To help newspapers and news agencies to maintain their independence.
o To build up a code of conduct for newspapers, news agencies and journalists in accordance
with high professional standards;
o To ensure on the parts of newspaper, news agencies and journalists, the maintenance of
high standards of public taste and foster a due sense of both the rights and responsibilities of
o To encourage the growth of a sense of responsibility and public service among all those
engaged in the profession of journalism;
o To keep under review any development likely to restrict the supply and dissemination of
news of public interest and importance.
o To keep under review cases of assistance received by any newspaper or news agency in
India from any foreign source including such cases as are referred to it by the central
government or are brought to its notice by any individual, association of person or any other
organizations : provided that nothing in this clause shall prelude.
o To keep under reviews cases of assistance received by any newspaper or news agency in
India from any foreign source including such cases as are referred to it by the Central
Government or are brought to its notice by any individual, association of persons or any
o To undertake studies of foreign newspapers, including those brought out by any embassy or
other representative in India or a foreign State, their circulation and impact.
o To promote a proper functional relationship among all classes of persons engaged in the
production or publication of newspaper or in news agencies :
o To undertake such studies as may be entrusted to the Council and to express its opinion in
regard to any matter referred to it by the Central Government.
o To do such other acts as may be incidental or conducive to the discharge of the above
o Where, on receipt of a complaint made to it or otherwise, the council has reason to believe
that a newspaper or 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
misconducts, the Council may, after giving the newspaper, or news agency, the editor or
journalists concerned an opportunity of being heard, hold an enquiry in such manner as may
be provided by regulations made under this Act and, if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do
so, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, warn, admonish or censure the newspaper,
the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the
journalist, as the case may be : provided that the Council may not take cognizance of a
complaint if in the opinion of the Chairman, there is no sufficient ground for holding an
o If the Council is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient in the public interest to do so,
it may require any newspaper to publish therein in such manner as the Council thinks fit, any
particulars, relating to any inquiry under this section against a newspaper or news agency,
an editor or a journalist working therein, including the name of such newspaper, news
agency, editor or journalist.
o Nothing in sub-action (1) shall be deemed to empower the Council to hold an inquiry into any
matter in respect of which any proceeding is pending in a court of law.
o For the purpose of performing its functions or holding any inquiry under this Act, the Council
shall have the same powers throughout India as are vested in civil court while trying a suit
under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following matters, namely:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and examining them on oath;
- Requiring the discovery and inspection of documents;
- Receiving evidence on affidavits;
- Requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court of office;
- Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents; and
- Any other matter, which may be prescribed.
An important part of this is that nothing can compel any newspaper, news agency, editor or
journalist to disclose the source of any news or information published by the newspaper or
received or reported by that news agency, editor or journalist.