printed praising competing candidates claiming that both are likely to winthe same elections. Nowhere is there any indication that the publication of such “news” reports has entailed financial transactions or has beensponsored by certain individuals or political parties. When confronted withcircumstantial evidence that substantiate allegations of “paid news”, thestandard reaction of individuals accused of corrupt practices is to pretendthat nothing untoward has happened since the evidence is circumstantial innature. The typical response of representatives of political parties as wellas media organizations, is to flatly deny these allegations. In private,however, these very same people acknowledge that the cancer of “paidnews” has spread deep into the country’s body politic and needs to beremoved.Realising the dangers of “paid news” to democracy as well as the right tofreedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution of India,on June 9, 2009, the Press Council of India appointed a Sub-Committeecomprising Shri Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Shri Kalimekolam SreenivasReddy “to examine the phenomenon of paid news observed during the lastLok Sabha elections…based on inputs received from the members andothers.” The two members met a cross-section of society in New Delhi,Mumbai and Hyderabad and also went through many letters andrepresentations that were sent to the Council. The report of theSub-Committee was discussed in detail by the Press Council in its twomeetings held in Indore and New Delhi on 31 March, 2010 and 26 April,2010 respectively. Members gave a number of suggestions and thereafter,the Press Council of India Chairman appointed a Drafting Committee to prepare a final report for the consideration of the Council. The Chairmanappointed a 12-member Committee consisting: S/Shri H N Cama, LalitMangotra, U C Sharma, Y C Halan, K. Sreenivas Reddy, Kalyan Barooah,S. N. Sinha, Anil Jugal Kishore Agarwal, Kundn R L Vyas, Paranjoy GuhaThakurta, P Javadekar, and Keshav Rao.