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Every law is made with a social and political intention. For example Sati, child marriage etc. so are press laws. Indian media laws have their roots in the colonial rule of the British Empire. In 1776, William Bolts a former employee of the East India Co. was bundled out of Calcutta and sent to Europe for threatening to publish a manuscript which had the potential to damage the reputation of the then rulers.

JAMES AUGUSTUS HICKY - another Englishman who started the first newspaper, The Bengal Gazette for
the Calcutta General Advisor in 1780 was also harassed. As a result of this constant mental torture by the ruling class he finally closed down the newspaper. In 1795, pre-censorship was ordered on Madras Gazette. Postal privileges were denied to the press. Matters to be printed in newspapers were to be shown to military secretary before sending them to the press.



WELLESLEY promulgated the first regulations. This warranted the newspapers

to print the names of printer, publisher and editor on the imprint line, among other things. The purpose of this regulation was to fix the responsibility on printer, publisher and editor of what appears in the paper. Whatever published need to be cleared by the Secretary to the govt. Warren Hastings however, abolished pre-censorship.

IN 1823, GOVERNOR GENERAL JOHN ADAMS introduced licensing of the press. But licensing was
abolished in 1835. This was replaced by Metcalfes Act. According to this Act a newspaper had to declare the address of printer and publication. In 1857, (War started from Meerut) in the wake of first war of independence, stricter laws and regulations were introduced to control the press. Licensing was re-introduced by Lord Canny. This was applied to books and all other publications. Lord Canny described the situation in India in 1857 as there are times in the existence of every state in which something of the liberties and the rights which it jealously cherishes and scrupulously guards in ordinary seasons must be sacrificed for the public welfare. Such is the state of India at this moment. Such a time has come upon us. The liberty of the press is no exception. On June 18, 1857 the government passed a new Act which later came to be known as the Gagging Act. On June 13, 1858 after the mutiny was crushed the government gave a quiet burial to this Act. It was roller-coaster ride for the press during this period with lots of ups and downs. This period also witnessed an up-surge in publishing activity. The Calcutta Journal edited by the legendary Sir James Silk Buckingham had hit the stand. His contribution to the freedom of the press in India was considered as monumental. Then there were Raja Ram Mohan Roys Mirathul Aqbar and Firdooljee, Marzbals Bombay Samchar which were upholding the values of a free press. The press enjoyed unprecedented degree of freedom under GOVERNOR GENERAL LORD BENTINCK who took over office in 1828. A truly liberal and progressive administration under him ensured a free and fair press. The Press Act of 1835 was hailed as the most liberal Act. Lord Metcalfe who is considered as a champion of free press in India played a crucial role in this. In 1867, Viceroy Sir John Lawrence enacted the Press and Registration of Book Act. It regulated printing presses and newspapers throughout India and this is one of the oldest surviving press regulations. A non-controversial Act, it continues to remain on the statute book to this day. In 1860, the INDIAN PENAL CODE, (IPC) a comprehensive law which deals with offences like Defamation and Obscenity was enacted. In 1870, the law of Sedition was added to IPC as Section 124A. It prohibited incitement or attempt to incite disaffection against the govt. by spoken, written words or signs. In the following years, more clauses were added to IPC. For example, in 1898, Clauses on action against promoting enmity between classes, 1927 action against outrageous religious feelings, and the same action against assertions related to national integration was added. 1

IN 1878, VERNACULAR PRESS ACT was passed with the sole intention of curbing and controlling the
Indian language newspapers. This evoked widespread protest in India and to some extent in England as well. This was however, replaced in 1881. It was a piece of black law. It empowered the govt., for the first time to issue search warrants and enter newspaper premises even without court orders. The IPC gave powers to the govt. to search and forfeit publications which violated Sections like 124A, 153A or 295A. More stringent anti-press laws were enacted in the passage of time, particularly when the freedom movement gained momentum. British govt. wanted to curb the activities of revolutionaries and the right of newspapers to report these. Reporting was closely monitored and comments against govt were not tolerated.

IN 1908, NEWSPAPERS ACT was passed empowering magistrates to cease a press wherein a newspaper
containing matters which incited murder or any other act of violence or offences under the Explosives Substance Act were printed. In 1910 the Indian Press Act came into existence. This comprehensive law was aimed at offences like violence and seditions. Under this Act, the govt had the right to demand security deposit from the press or forfeit the publication. In 1913, this Act was made more regress. But later on it was repealed. In 1923, came another piece of stringent law, the OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT. This prohibited the publication of classified official information. Lots of information vital to the public was withheld from the press in the name of Official Secrets Act even today. This Act prohibits the democratic concept of transparency of governance.

IN 1951, THE PRESS (OBJECTIONABLE MATTER) ACT WAS PASSED. Though it was initially intended for
2 years it was extended up to February 1956. This Act provided for a judicial enquiry before demanding security deposit from a printing press or forfeiting it. In 1955, following the recommendations of the First Press Commission, Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees and Miscellaneous Provisions Act was passed. The purpose of this Act was to ensure the welfare of working journalists and other newspaper employees. In 1958, Working Journalists Act was passed to overcome certain difficulties regarding wage fixation.

IN 1956,

THE GOVT PASSED NEWSPAPER (PRICE AND PAGE) ACT to link the number of pages in a newspaper to its cover price. However, following widespread protests from newspaper industry the Supreme Court struck down it on a verdict in a case known as Sakal papers vs. union of India in1962. The Court said it was an unconstitutional Act. Over the years right from the colonial raj to the dawn of freedom and thereafter a large number press laws were enacted to curb freedom of the press covertly or overtly.

IN 1956, PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS ACT was passed known as Feroze Gandhi Act. It protected the
rights of journalists to report truthfully and substantially the Parliamentary proceedings. This Act was repealed in 1976 by the then Prime Minister and wife of Feroze Gandhi, Indira Gandhi during the infamous emergency.

THE CRIMINAL LAW AMENDMENT ACT WAS PASSED IN 1961 to put certain restrictions on the freedom of
the press on the grounds of security of the state and public order. In 1962 and 1971 during the wars with China and Pakistan the Defence of India Act was passed. These Acts gave sweeping powers to the govt to restrict the freedom of the press. In 1965, a major turning point took place; an Act was passed to establish the Press Council of India. This had the aim of protecting the freedom of the press, raising the standards of journalism including self-monitoring. This too was repealed in 1976 during the emergency, but re-enacted with some changes in 1978 when the Janata Party overthrew the Indira Gandhi govt.

IN 1969, CRIMINAL AND ELECTION LAWS AMENDMENT ACT was passed to amend certain Sections of the
IPC and CrPC. Certain new provisions were introduced. The amendments and additions affected the freedom of the press. 2





Constitution of India adopted on January 26, 1950 has ensured freedom of speech and expression as fundamental right under Article 19 (1)(A). Though there is no special mention as freedom of the press or any special provision in the fundamental rights on the freedom of press, the fourth state that is the press draws its strength from various Supreme Court and High Court judgements. Constitution, legislature and courts together play a crucial role in safeguarding freedom of speech and expression. Article 19 (1) guarantees 6 fundamental rights to the citizens of India or we, the people, freedom of speech and expression is first among them. According to Supreme Court of India, there was no need for separate mention of freedom of the press other than freedom of speech and expression given to all citizens. Therefore, the press can not claim it has got any special privileges. Similarly, it cannot be subjected to any special restrictions which are not applicable to common citizens. In the US constitution, there is special and separate mention and provision of the freedom of the press. UK which has no written constitution has a long tradition of freedom of speech and expression of the press. It has been the foundation of all philosophy concerning freedom of speech, expression and the press. British Parliament also made a large amount of laws to protect the freedom of the press. The rights of free speech, expression, and the press are in a constant process of evolution. Our constituent assembly had debated on whether freedom of the press should be clearly mentioned in Article 19 (1)(a), but finally decided not to do so. There is no doubt; it could have been easier to understand this Article. There has been no need to drag judiciary more often to define this Article. Freedom of the speech and expression is guaranteed to citizens not to companies which are running the newspapers. But Supreme Court of India has clearly stated in so many judgements that without freedom of the press the fourth state cannot provide comprehensive and objective information on all aspects of the countrys social, political, economic and cultural life. In Sakal newspaper pvt. Ltd vs. Union of India case the Supreme Court gave a landmark judgement. The apex court held that the right to propagate ones ideas was inherent in the concept of freedom of speech and expression. Every citizen had the right to propagate and publish his/her ideas, disseminate and circulate them. In so many other cases also courts upheld the freedom of the press. In Romesh Thapper Vs. State of Madras case the Supreme Court quashed an order issued by Madras government prohibiting entry of Crossroads published in Bombay. The court said, Freedom of speech and propagation of ideas were possible only if circulation was guaranteed. While Article 19 (1) ensures freedom of speech, Article 19 (2) puts restrictions on freedom of speech and expression in those cases there is danger to public security involved. To elaborate this in 1951, Article 19 (2) was amended to put some more restrictions on the rights conferred by Article 19 (1). This was done in the interest of the state, friendly relations with foreign state, public order, decency, morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence. There has been tussle with judiciary, legislature and executive in this regard (19 (2)) and 1975 is a classical example of this. The Sakal case was basically regarding the Price and Page Schedule Act and Order which puts some restrictions on pricing of a newspaper by a paper establishment. The question before Supreme Court was whether the restrictions imposed by this Act and Order were an attack on the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution. This Act empowered the government to regulate the price of the newspapers particularly that of language (vernacular) newspapers. It also empowered the govt to regulate the space allotted for advertisement besides amount of supplements that could be brought out by the newspapers. The argument of the newspaper concerned was that this was an outright infringement on the fundamental right of freedom of expression. The court upheld this argument and declared the Acts concerned void as they violated the Article 19 (1) (a). Article 19 (1) (a) was not protected by Article 19 (2). According to Supreme Court, fixation of the minimum price by govt was not to ensure a reasonable price to the buyers of the newspaper but for cutting down volume

of circulation by making price unattractively high for the class of readers who regularly subscribe to the newspapers. This will deter them from purchasing newspapers. Restrictions on publishing supplements also found to be violative of freedom of expression. The government argument was that the Act was aimed at preventing unfair competition and monopoly which will kill new comers in the profession. It will result in destruction of freedom of expression and free press. A free press was not composed of a few powerful groups so state intervention was necessary to ensure level-playing ground. Supreme Court held that this could not be justified unless it has validity under clause 2 of Article 19. Though there are enough provisions for freedom of expression in the Constitution of India what is provided in one place is taken away by a sub-clause some where else in the Constitution itself or through an Act. This is a common complaint by journalists and newspapers.

OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT 1923: It deals with wrongful communication of secret information, classified
document and official secrets.





BOOKS ACT 1867: According to this Act the newspapers submit 2

copies of a newspaper soon after its publication to the govt free of cost.

SEA CUSTOMS ACT 1878: This prohibits bringing of obscene books, literature, drawings etc. to India. THE YOUNG PERSONS ACT 1956: This prohibits production of such material in India. THE PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS ACT 1956: Newspapers are allowed to publish Parliamentary
proceedings if they are without malicious intentions. This Act was in fact made by Feroze Gandhi and known as Feroze Gandhi Act and in 1975 Mr. Gandhi repealed it during emergency.

THE DELIVERY OF BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS ACT 1954: According to this Act, a publisher has to deliver at
his own expense one copy of newspaper as soon as it is published to a central government notified pubic library.

COPYRIGHT ACT 1957: This defines what is covered under Copyright Act and what is not. CRIMINAL LAW & AMENDMENT ACT 1961: This put restrictions on the press on the basis of security of state
and public order.

DEFENCE OF INDIA ACT 1962 & 1971: As long as emergency remains a citizen cannot claim protection of
Article 19.



IPC: It prohibits publication or circulation of statements, rumours or reports which calls

upon members of armed forces to rise in mutiny or fail in his duty. Section 295 of IPC: This relates to publication of materials out-raging religious feelings.



DISAFFECTION) ACT 1972: This relates to any act that causes breach of discipline, POST OFFICERS ACT: Under this Act, right is given to post officers to detain

disaffection towards governments.


suspicious articles or seditious nature.

THE TELEGRAPH ACT 1885, SECTION 26 OF THE POST OFFICERS ACT OF 1898: These give right to intercept a message or an article while being transmitted and detain it on public emergency or public safety.

On August 25, 1980 an Ordinance was promulgated by J&K governor banning reporting of communal nature. The punishment was seven years jail term to life imprisonment.


AND PRESS & REGISTRATION OF BOOKS BILL: All these bills were brought by state and central governments but were put on hold due to protests from the press. These were aimed at curtailing the freedom of the press in many ways.

There are undefined and gray areas in many of the Acts mentioned above. They could be misused, for stifling the voice of the press. For example, take the case of J&K Ordinance. What is reporting of communal nature? Who will decide this? A Station House Officer, (SHO) or District Magistrate? What is obscene? What is artistic obscenity? Where lies the Lakshmanrekha? These are all subject to interpretation.

Some constitutional experts do not agree with the argument that the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution with one hand is taken away by the other hand by circumscribing this right by innumerable exceptions and provisions, clauses and sub-clauses, Acts and by-laws. They argue that these limitations or restrictions are objective standards laid by the Constitution and various laws against matters related to libel, slander, defamation, contempt or court or any matter which offends decency or morality also which breaches security of the country or tend to over throw the state. However, any restriction or limitation of a fundamental right has to be proved before a competent court of law. Article 19 of the Constitution as mentioned earlier has not referred or defined freedom of the press. It deals with the fundamental rights, freedom of speech and expression is one of them. Freedom of speech and expression means not only freedom of oral utterance but also freedom of expression through written or printed word or broadcast. The idea in the concept of the freedom of the press has their roots in this vital Article 19 of the Constitution. Freedom of press or freedom of speech and expression means freedom to hold opinions, to receive and impart information through printed word without any interference from any public authority. Like all other fundamental rights freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution has naturally some restrictions attached to them. The doctrine of absolute freedom of speech and information has its dangers. Irresponsible use of this can be dangerous to the society and the state, the Constitution believes. So there is no doubt that there need to be some well meaning restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression or freedom of the press. What is objectionable is the imposition of arbitrary or unnecessary restrictions to muscle the press, so restrictions as such are not to be opposed. Like freedom is required for human progress regulations and discipline are also required for harmonious growth and progress of a society. Experts are of the view that, at this stage of human progress, freedom like atomic energy would be anarchic and unmanageable force same as it is placed under adequate control. Our Constitution has envisaged this factor putting certain restrictions on various fundamental rights enshrined in Article 19. Article 19(2) to 19(6) casts circumscribed the permissible restrictions legislations. The question here is how far these restrictive legislation of limits is in tune with the essence of Article 19 and in conformity with its concept.

ARTICLE 19 (6): The American Commission in its report on a free and a responsible press says freedom of
the press is essential to political liberty. When a person can not convey his/her thoughts to one another, no freedom is secure. Free expression is unique among liberties. First amendment to the US Constitution is the cornerstone of Americas freedom of the press. According to this the freedom of the press can in no way be abridged by laws. This provision was invoked in US time and again including the US governments move to prevent the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing a classified study entitled history of US decision making process on Vietnam policy. While allowing the publication, the court observed restrictions on publication would make a shambles of this amendment. The first amendment took place in 1791. The first amendment to US Constitution clearly puts it the people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write or publish their sentiments. And the freedom of the press as one of the great bulwarks of liberty shall be inviolable. These amendments curtail the powers of executive, judiciary and legislature in the original Constitution. This amendment to US Constitution is a landmark in the history of the freedom of the press. The press was to serve the governed not the governors. The governments power to sensor the press was abolished. The role of the press was to sensor the government. The press was protected to bare the secrets of the government. Its duty was to inform the people, only a free press can do this. The word security should not be invoked to abrogate (Abolish) the fundamentals of the first amendment. The meaning of a free press is inseparable of the general meaning of freedom in the modern state. In India, the press does not enjoy this much of freedom. We have reasonable restrictions imposed on it. The framers of our Constitution believed that there should be a proper balance between the freedom guaranteed and the social control permitted by Article 19 and its sub-clauses. Mahatma Gandhi ones said and this has been quite permanently inscribed on the portals of AIR, Delhi I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off of my feet by any of them. Mine is

not a religion of the prison house it has room for the least among Gods creations. But it is proof against insolence, pride of race, religion or colour. Like it was stated by one of the great American Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt Freedom is not granted but achieved and preserved with vigil. One should remember that liberty is not license and rights are relative not absolute.


UNIT 1.5

In 1975, after the imposition of emergency strict censorship was ordered on the press. Central censorship order was issued on June 26, 1975 a day after the promulgation of internal emergency. This was issued under Defence of India Act. The order was revoked on March 22, 1977 by Janata government. Press Council of India Act 1965, Parliamentary Proceedings Act 1956 were the other Acts repealed during the emergency. Prevention of Publication of Objectionable Matter Act was introduced during the emergency and repealed in April 1977 by the Janata Party govt. India is a federal, democratic, secular republic with a strong legislative, judicial and executive system. It is an emerging economic power rising from the debris of poverty, backwardness, illiteracy, poor health care and sanitation and unemployment. Press play a crucial role the role of a watchdog in a healthy effective and transparent functioning of all these branches of our system. Except for the 19 months of emergency, India has a comparatively free press in the given situation. Emergency experience was an aberration with excess. Let us see what happened to the press during the emergency. How much freedom you want in a country like India to fight poverty, backwardness, ignorance, diseases, and superstitions this was a question from Indira Gandhi during emergency. Mrs. Gandhis period witnessed plenty of conflicts between the press and the govt. Her father Nehrus era was different. Of course there is no comparison between the two eras as the time and situation change. Nehru was a democrat to the core even Mrs. Gandhi was a democrat. But Nehru had post independence honeymoon with the press. Indiras time was turbulent. The press was too aggressive. It started to report and react to situations more independently. It was the era of investigative journalism. Indira had more critiques and rivals in party and outside. The press, the erstwhile rulers and the industrial lobby opposed her policies of bank nationalisation and abolition of Privy Purse. On June 12, 1975 Justice Jagmohan Sinha of Allahabd High Court found Mrs. Gandhi on two counts of electoral corruption in the 1971 Lok Sabha polls from Rai Barelli UP. The judge declared her election invalid and barred her holding political office for six years. The sentence was stayed by him for 22 days to allow Congress to elect a new Prime Minister. In Gujarat, her former political rival Morarji Desai formed Janata Morcha. In Bihar, Jayaprakash Narayan declared an All India Political Movement called Sampoornakranti- total revolution against corruption and misrule. Mrs. Gandhi was in real trouble. On June 12, 1975 though she got conditional stay from Supreme Court, Justice V.R. Krishna Aiyer said she could not vote in Lok Sabha or participate in business. On June 25, Mrs. Gandhi daughter of Jwaharlal Nehru declared emergency. On the same day she arrested Morarji Desai, JP, Raj Narayan, Chandra Shekar, Charan Singh, Ashok Mehta, Piloo Modi and K.R. Malkani (editor of Janasanghs Motherland). The same day, press censorship was ordered and guidelines were issued and the same night the electricity supply to newspaper offices was cut. The central censorship was harsh. Editorial contents were to be approved by govt officials sitting in newspaper offices. Several newspapers stopped writing editorial or kept that place blank or wrote on irrelevant topics. Maintenance of Internal Security Act and Defence of India Act was enforced. Editors were arrested, reporters were intimidated. Freedom of the press was in shambles. Chief Censor became 6

chief editor in a way. His approval was necessary for publication of news, views, editorials and photographs. Lakhs of rupees were spent on advertisement to publicise the so-called gains of emergency. Newspapers were evaluated as friendly and hostile to the govt. Advertisements were given accordingly. Kuldeep Nayar, editor of Express News Service among with other journalists was arrested. Foreign correspondents like Mark Tuli who were based in Delhi were thrown out of India. Several Indian publications were closed down. Finally in 1977, Indira was dislodged in the historic Lok Sabha election and democracy was restored, freedom of the Press as well.


The earliest surviving enactment specifically directed towards the press was passed in 1867, the Press and Registration of Books Act (PRB Act) (XXV of 1867). During the rein of the British Government in India writing of books and other informatory material took a concrete shape and with the advent of printing presses various books on almost all the subjects and periodicals touching every aspect of life started appearing. Thrust on education gave an impetus to this with the result that lot of printed material became available. Those in the field of writing, publishing and printing gave a thought to organise a system for keeping a record of the publications. The then East India Company was urged to keep a record of the publications. An attempt was made by the authorities to make a collection of the books and other publications emanating from the various printing presses throughout India. Board of Directors of East India Company issued an instruction that copies of every important and interesting work published in India should be despatched to England to be deposited in the library of India House. Such an instruction had a slow impact. Again the Royal Asiatic Society in London urged the then Secretary of State for India to repeat the instruction of the late Board of Directors of East India Company and also desired that catalogues of all the works published in India should be sent to England. A system of voluntary registrations of publications was evolved but it failed. It was found necessary to establish a system of compulsory sale to Government, of three copies of each work in India. To achieve this purpose a Bill was introduced in the Legislature for the regulation of printing presses and newspaper for the preservation of copies of books and periodicals containing news printed in the whole of India and for the registration of such books and periodicals containing news. The OBJECTIVE was however not to establish governmental control over the freedom of the Press. It was a regulatory law which enabled Government to regulate printing presses and newspapers by a system of registration and to preserve copies of books and other matter printed in India. A number of minor amendments were made in the Act from time to time to make the Sections/Clauses compatible with the changing situation, particularier after Independence. But major amendments were carried out in 1955 following the recommendations of the First Press Commission in 1953, consequent upon which the Office of the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI) was created and started functioning in 1956.


WHAT IT IS: The basic idea of defamation law is simple. It is an attempt to balance the private right to protect one's reputation with the public right to freedom of speech. Defamation law allows people to sue those who say or publish false and malicious comments. There are two types of defamation: 1. ORAL DEFAMATION -- called slander -- for example comments or stories told at a meeting or party. 7

2. PUBLISHED DEFAMATION -- called libel -- for example a newspaper article or television broadcast. Pictures as well as words can be libellous. Anything that injures a person's reputation can be defamatory. If a comment brings a person into contempt, disrepute or ridicule, it is likely to be defamatory. - You tell your friends that the boss is unfair. That's slander of the boss. - You write a letter to the newspaper saying a politician is corrupt. That's libel of the politician, even if it's not published. - You say on television that a building was badly designed. That's libel due to the imputation that the architect is professionally incompetent, even if you didn't mention any names. - You sell a book that contains defamatory material. That's spreading of defamation. - The fact is, nearly everyone makes defamatory statements almost every day. Only very rarely does someone use the law of defamation against such statements.


It is not defamation to impute anything which is true concerning any person, if it is for public good that the imputation should be made or published. It is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion whatever regarding the conduct or character of a public servant in discharge of his public function. It is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion regarding the conduct or character of any person touching any public question. It is not defamation to publish a substantially true report or result of a Court of Justice of any such proceedings. It is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion regarding the merits of any case, which has been decided by a Court of Justice, or the conduct of any person as a party, or the witness or the agent, in such case. It is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion regarding the merits of any performance which an author has submitted to the judgement of the public. It is not defamation if a person having any authority over another person, either conferred by law or arising out of a lawful contract, to pass in good faith any censure on the conduct of that other in matters to which such lawful authority relates. It is not defamation to prefer in good faith an accusation against any person to any of those who have lawful authority over that person with respect to the subject matter of accusation. It is not defamation to make an imputation on the character of another person, provided it is made in good faith by person for protection of his or other's interests. It is not defamation to convey a caution, intended for the good of a person to whom conveyed or for public good.

Eg. A few yeas ago, former Union Law Minister & Senior Janata Party leader, called a senior BJP leader of a rival party ignoramus, and a Court summoned the offender for defamation. The alleged offender had to prove that the rival politician was really ignoramus, or would have to face the punitive measures (jail/fine). In contesting the case, the offender had to visit the law courts for at least 5 years and pay hefty money to the advocate. The editor of the newspaper that published the article by the offender apologized and escaped. But the offender fought and won the case. The court asked the complainant to pay Rs.8000/- for compensation for petrol bills. - In a defamation case, the aggrieved person should prove the publication. This means that he has to prove that the offender had, in the original text given to the magazine, written what was printed. The onus therefore is on the aggrieved to produce the original. Since the publication would not keep the original manuscript for such a long time, and the aggrieved fails to produce the original, the offender is not guilty.

A libel called defamation is defined as a malicious publication expressed in printing or writing or by signs, diagrams, cartoons, pictures or visible expression (broadcast) tending to tarnish the reputation of a person so as to expose him/her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule. This kind of a libel is usually categorised as civil defamation. It is answerable in damages to the person against whom the act of defamation is committed. If a libel is published by a newspaper / media tends to incite a riot, that would be a criminal defamation punishable by the State for the protection of public safety & public good. Publication of obscene, seditious, blasphemous, words are punishable under the criminal law of defamation. Libel is a fundamental part of the law of the Press. It is one of the greatest dangers or threats to the publisher/broadcaster. If a publication/broadcaster violates the law of defamation, and defames a person, it may be subject to civil & criminal libel. Libel is written defamation (slander is oral), and defamation is a tort. State Governments and their officials often want to make the law of defamation more stringent. According to them, many publications (particularly those indulging in yellow journalism), make reckless allegations against public officials quite often to create sensationalism and thereby to increase their circulation. The victims, it was argued, often find it difficult to launch a civil or criminal suit as it is time and money consuming. If they go to a court of law, more mud is slung on them by way of cross examination. This will further damage their reputation and some of the mud may even stick. So they are reluctant to take legal steps. Even if the matter is brought before a court of law, the accused may tender an apology or escape with a nominal fine or light sentence (maximum punishment IPC 2years). So the State Governments want to amend the law to make it harsher and remove the current handicaps involved in the procedure of defamation law. They have argued against a mere tender of apology and the accused getting away. The Southern Indian Journalists Federation argued that the law of defamation was heavily loaded against journalists and Freedom of the Press. It should not be made more burdensome. The All India Newspaper Editors Conference was of the view that the law of defamation often prevents fearless journalism and exposure of corrupt and scandalous officials. Indian Federation of Working Journalists came up with the idea of charging the offenders with only civil liability and not with criminal defamation. If it was of a criminal nature, a timely apology should relieve the offender. The press as whole has been demanding amendment of the law of defamation on the lines of the English Defamation Act 1952.

ARTICLE 19(2) of the Indian Constitution puts some reasonable restrictions on the fundamental right of
freedom of speech and expression in relation to contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to an offence. According to Constitutional experts, it was pointless to argue that a violation of defamation law should be tried only for civil violation as argued by editors, publisher, broadcasters and journalists federations. Defamation, as the framers of the Constitution mean it, involves both civil and criminal liability. Experts however say that an amendment to the Constitution was desirable to restrict the operation of the word defamation to cases involving civil liability or to such cases involving criminal liability as one likely to disturb public peace. In UK, defamation is mainly a civil offence, where the law of defamation is divided into 2 branches (i) libel published defamation (eg. a newspaper article/broadcast). Pictures as well as words can be libellous (ii) slander oral defamation (eg. comments or stories told at a meeting or party) Any person who makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person is committing the act of defamation. Exceptions: (i) it is not defamation to impute anything which is true concerning any person, if it is for the public good that such imputation should be make public / published. (ii) it is not defamation to express in good faith any opinion whatever regarding the conduct or character of a public servant, in discharge of his public function. (iii) it is not defamation if one is touching any public question. 9

Punitive Measures: Defamation will be punished with simple imprisonment for 2 years with or without fine (civil or criminal) under Section 500 IPC. In India, defamation proceedings can be initiated under Sections 499 & 500 of IPC or Tort Law. - Defamation on the Internet could be contested in any country in which it was read. - Most defendants in defamation law suits are newspapers or publishers. TV channels come next Most plaintiffs are corporations, business men, entertainers, and public figures. Defamation is usually caused / originates from allegations or imputations injurious to another in their trade, business, or profession of loathsome disease (eg. 1993 newspapers spoke of Narsimha Rao was suffering from cancer), allegations of unchastity, and of criminal activity.

1. In Arushi-Hemraj murder case, the accused Dr Talwars lawyer initiated defamation proceedings against UP Police for accusing Dr. Talwar of double murder without forensic evidence. 2. A defamation suit worth $100 million was filed against Forum for Saving Gandhis Heritage in New York by Indian National Overseas Congress for defaming Sonia and Rahul Gandhi during their visit there. In certain cases, defamation results in a criminal prosecution. This is known as seditious libel which is often against the Government, Constitution, Religion, etc. to promote ill-will and hostility between different classes. Seditious libel conforms to the offences of sedition under Section 124A & 153A of IPC. As it poses danger to the public peace, the truth of the statement constitutes no defence. There was a proposal by All India Newspapers Conference not to punish unintentional defamation in the process of journalistic reporting / writing. A clarification issued by the writer should settle the issue. It was argued that no damages would be awarded. In a civil defamation, what the plaintiff seeks is to compensate for the loss of reputation in terms of money. The quantum of damage therefore differs from case to case and according to the status of the plaintiff. In February 2008, a political leader in Andhra Pradesh was sentenced to 6 months in jail and fined Rs. 5000/- for maligning the reputation of a minister in the state. The offender had alleged that the minister had a fake Doctorate Degree. Criminal defamation seeks to punish the offender while civil defamation seeks compensation in the form of monitory damages. Misuse of criminal defamation by corporate houses and others to silence the critic and flog off free opinion are nothing strange in India. In the civil law, the burden of proof is initially on the plaintiff. Whereas in criminal law, the state has to prove the violation. So defamation gives rise to both civil and criminal action. The Civil law relating to defamation is not codified in India. Civil action against defamation is based on the English Common Law subject to statuary exceptions. Criminal Law of defamation is contained in Sections 499-502 of the IPC. The main difference between Civil & Criminal proceeding for defamation is pertaining to compensation. While the object of Civil action is to adequately compensate the person defamed for the loss of reputation by damages; the object of Criminal prosecution is to punish the offender by way of imprisonment of fine or both. The purpose of the Law of Defamation is to protect the peoples reputation from unfair attack. In practice, however, its main effect is to hinder free speech and protect powerful people from scrutiny. The basic idea of this Law is to strike a balance between the private right to protect ones reputation and the public right to freedom of speech. Anything that injures a persons reputation can be defamatory. If a comment brings a person into contempt, disrepute or ridicule, it is defamatory. Telling your friends that your boss is unfair amounts to slander of the boss. Writing a letter to the newspaper saying a politician 10

is corrupt amounts to defamation of the politician, even if it is not published. Saying on Television / radio that a building was badly designed amounts to libel, due to the imputation that the architect is professionally incompetent even if no name was mentioned. Selling a book that contains defamatory material amounts to spreading of defamation. The fact is, nearly everyone makes defamatory statements almost everyday; only very rarely does someone use the law of defamation against such statements. When threatened with a defamation suit, the important question is whether one has the right to say it.


1. What you said was true - You can defend yourself on the grounds that what you said is true... civil onus is on the plaintiff, criminal on the state. 2. You have a duty to provide information - If you have a duty to make a statement (eg. activists, social workers), you may be protected under the defence of qualified privilege (eg. a teacher making a comment about a student to the students parents about his/her bad behaviour) a defamation action can only succeed if they can prove you were malicious. At the same time you are not protected if you comment about the student in the media. There is an extra defence if you are a parliamentarian and speak under parliamentary privilege. In this case, your speech is protected by absolute privilege, which is s complete defence in Law (eg. MP making a statement in Lok Sabha against anyone). 3. You are expressing an opinion Note: On receiving a defamation notice, a journalist should respond to it legally. If an apology is tendered to settle it, the journalist will lose credibility. The best way out is to think carefully before a written apology is tendered. Chose your words with utmost care. Dont be cowed down by intimidation which comes in the shape of defamation suit or threat of defamation suit. Uphold truth while writing news stories and articles or while broadcasting news. Use all forms of reforms, legislature to ensure freedom of speech an expression, and also be careful not to misuse it and defame someone out of personal vendetta or prejudice. Call a spade a spade, but beware and aware of the law of defamation. (Added notes from the book) The Constitution confers on all citizens freedom of expression under Article 19 (1). There is no separate guarantee of the freedom of the press. The limits of such freedom are, however prescribed by Article 19 (2) which defines defamation or contempt of court. Constitutional guarantee of the freedom of press is provided in the First Amendment in the United States. The US Supreme court has held that freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of achieving a free society. The law of defamation is based on the principle that a mans reputation, esteem, honor end integrity are invaluable assets. This principle has been recognized since the days of David and Moses. The offence of defamation, embodied in Section 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, differs from English Law. In English Law the offence of defamatory libel lies in its tendency to provoke a breach of the peace. Under the Indian Penal Code defamation is a cognizable offence to the extent to which it causes pain in the person who is defamed. A libel consists of a defamatory statement or representation in permanent form; if a defamatory meaning is conveyed by a spoken word or gestures it is slander. Examples of libel as compared to slander are a picture, statue, waxwork effigy, writing, print, mark or sign exposed to view. Mimicry, gesticulation or resort to sign language would be slander, because they are more transient. However, broadcast by radio and televisions and theatrical performances are treated as publication in permanent from and is thus construed a libel. Libel is not merely an actionable tort, but also criminal offence whereas slander is only a civil injury. 11

Libel is in all cases per se actionable but slander is, except in special cases, actionable only on production of proof of actual damage. The rules relating to slander are derived from the common law action on the case, while for libel it is from criminal proceedings. Every actionable libel can be dealt with by either civil action or criminal proceedings whereas no slander, even though actionable, is as such, a criminal offence unless it contravenes the law for example, obscene, blasphemous or seditious or a contempt of court. No special damage need be alleged or proved in a libel case whereas in slander the plaintiff has to prove that he has suffered damage. Libel is more severe on the defendant, since it has greater potential for harm and is more likely to be premeditated. The Indian Penal Code is exhaustive of the Law of libel subject to the Constitution. The Constitution exempts legislature in respect of speeches delivered in the house.



COURT // 2.3

- Judiciary (interprets the Law) is one of the most important pillars of democracy, the other being legistlative (frames the Law), executive (executes the Law) & press (watchdog of the three estates/pillars. Role of Judiciary: (i) interprets and defines various articles of the Indian Constitution; (ii) settles disputes between individuals, individuals and state and among various sectors of the state It plays a key role in the running of a true democratic system being totally and indisputably impartial earning the faith and confidence of all citizens through its fairness (proven beyond doubt) and concern for peoples problems standing in the interest of the state and society The independence of the judiciary is very important for the functioning of a democratic system its independence and fairness should be ensured at all costs or else democracy, freedom, liberty and all that is attached to freedom is meaningless freedom of the judiciary must be protected without interference and intimidation from politics, government and bureaucrats there should be no undue influence from any quarters this is the objective or basis for providing for a law of contempt of courts. According to Section 2 of the Contempt of the Courts Act 1971, contempt is of 2 kinds: civil and criminal Civil contempt deals with wilful disobedience to any judgement, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court. Criminal contempt deals with publication of matters scandalising or lowering the authority of courts or prejudices or interferes or tends to interfere with the course of judicial proceeding. This Also include any attempt to obstruct the administration of justice in any manner. Scandalisation has serious implication. It means heinous attack on the administration of justice or vilification (criticism) of entire judiciary or a particular judge or a particular court. If a newspaper or a periodical or a broadcast network publisher publish anything which may create an apprehension in the minds of the people about the integrity, impartiality, ability and fairness of a judge or which tends to deter litigants from complete reliance upon the courts, administration of justice amounts to contempt of court. If a publication causes embarrassment in the mind of a judge regarding discharge of his official duty, it also leads to contempt of court. Even if the criticism relates to a judges non-judicial function like that of an administrative judge it amounts to contempt of court provided that writing undermines the authority and prestige of the court or judge concerned.


No writing should tend to lower the prestige of the court or judge or the confidence of the public in judiciary. If your writings attribute improper motives in deciding a case it is certainly a matter of contempt of court. The courts use its power sparingly to punish or scandalising it. And whenever it uses this power it deals with only the process of administration of justice. This means that contempt of court is not used t vindicate personal insult to the judge. But the press be careful not to indulge in personal attack of judges and courts. Here, what the press should understand is the difference between personal attack born out of unfounded negativism and constructive criticism for the good of the society as a whole. Bonafide criticism that is fair in interest of public wellbeing does not amount to contempt of court. The moment motives are attributed to the judge it becomes contempt. For example, a journalist is free to criticise a judgement on its merits. But the moment dishonesty of personal motives are attributed to the judge in delivering the judgement for or against somebody it is contempt. Even if a truthful statement of facts is made during the course of justice it will be a contempt of court it is likely to prejudice or interfere with the court proceedings. The courts do not agree at all with the idea of trial by newspapers as it is interference with the administration of justice in matters of sub-judice. Punishment for Contempt of Court: Usually interference with the due course of justice or contempt of court is punished if this is of substantial nature. Accurate reporting of judicial proceedings is permitted. If this is not done in a fare manner it would lead to contempt of court. Similarly, a bonafide complaint against the presiding officer of a sub-ordinate court does not attract contempt of court. Supreme Court and High Courts are entitled to punish anybody for contempt of court and High courts have the power to punish contempt of sub-ordinate courts. The punishment for contempt of court should be simple imprisonment up to 6 months with or without fine of Rs. 2000/. If the contemptor tenders an apology and the court is satisfied with the genuineness of the same the accused could be let off or the punishment may be remitted. In case of civil contempt, normally a fine would be considered sufficient to meet the ends of justice. Within one year from the date of contempt of court action has to be initiated. All India Newspapers Editors Conference (AINEC) had urged once that the law of contempt of court should be made more clear and accurate in its expression. According to AINEC, the law of contempt of court makes the job of a journalist difficult in discharging his/her duty as an honest critique of the system. S/he is hand-cuffed in commenting on judicial proceedings, the merits or demerits of judicial verdicts and pointing the pitfalls of the system. While it was essential that judiciary should be protected from prejudicial or contempt as writings both in the case of matters pending before courts as well as those decided by courts, it is of utmost importance for a democratic system to permit the press to carry out honest and fair criticism. There is a view among the Southern Journalist Federation, (SJF) contempt of court should be harsher on political parties and the administrative machinery which often defile court orders for indulgent vilification campaign against judiciary. According to the Federation, the press criticises the judiciary in good faith and in larger interests of the society. The Indian Federation of Working Journalists argued that there was an anomaly in the very concept of contempt of court as the court is the prosecutor, witness, jury and judge. There is also a view that only in extremely serious cases punishment under contempt of courts should be awarded. It was submitted before the press laws enquiry committee that the press should be allowed to fair and bonafide reporting of court proceedings. Contempt proceedings should be initiated only on a complaint by the presiding officer of the court concerned. The complainant judge should not be allowed to preside over the trial. This point was considered by the press laws enquiry committee. It held that it was not proved substantially there was need for change of law. The jurisdiction of contempt of court was vested in Supreme Court and High Courts under Articles 129 &215 of the Constitution. A contempt court has extra territorial jurisdiction in matters of contempt of court. However, there were some disputes and contradictory views about this as a question arose whether a warrant of arrest could be executed on a person living outside the jurisdiction of court. In a particular case, Allahabad High Court issued a warrant of


arrest against a person residing in Bombay in a contempt of court case. This was sought to be executed through the police commissioner of Bombay. This was challenged by the person concerned and the Bombay High Court held that Allahabad High Court have no right to arrest a person residing outside its jurisdiction. Similarly, the Bombay High Court had no right to arrest a person for contempt of Allahabad High Court. But Allahabad High Court said Section 5 of the Contempt of Court Act 1952 clearly states a High Court shall have the jurisdiction to try a contempt case within or outside its jurisdiction or sub-ordinate courts. Supreme Court said superior courts have claimed and exercised summary jurisdiction to punish those who found guilty of contempt of court. Supreme Court had stated that the power of a High Court to institute proceedings for contempt and punish where necessary is a special jurisdiction inherent in it. A High Court can deal with it summarily and adopt its own procedure. All that is necessary is the procedure should be fair and the accused is made aware of the charge against him/her and given a fair and reasonable opportunity to defend himself/herself. The exercise of this extra-ordinary power has been justified on the grounds of expediency. In all cases of contempt tried summarily the judge plays the role of party injured, prosecutor and judge. There has been criticism among English judges in the UK against a prosecutor taking upon himself the role of the judge. Some judges even held it an archaic procedure. Regarding judge/judges who hear their own contempt case the Supreme Court said though this was not desirable it did not want to lay down any general rule. The court however, reminded the judges that justice must not only be done but seem to be done by all concerned particularly the accused. The bottom-line of this contempt of court law has been that it must be exercised with great caution. The philosophy of contempt of court is that it is in the interest of the public that the authority and prestige of the judges and judiciary are not lowered by unwanted and unfounded criticism. At the same time, judges and judiciary should understand their role in upholding the prestige, authority and integrity of the judicial system. It has been laid down many times and by the highest tribunals that judges are not immune from criticism and that fair and reasonable criticism of a case which is finished is not objectionable. If a judge is defamed in such a way as not to affect administration of justice he has the ordinary remedies. He can file a defamation case or he can issue a public denial. For example, a contempt of court case was slapped in the Hindustan Times by Allahabad High Court for publishing a report against the Chief Justice. According to this report, the Chief Justice has issued a circular to his colleagues to raise contributions to war funds. This is outside his judicial proceedings and could be contradicted or denied through a statement instead of filing a contempt of court case. - Judiciary (interprets the Law) is one of the most important pillars of democracy, the other being legistlative (frames the Law), executive (executes the Law) & press (watchdog of the three estates/pillars


ARTICLE 105: Powers, Privileges & Immunities for Parliament, members and committees. ARTICLE 194: Powers, Privileges & Immunities for Assemblies, members & committees. ARTICLE 105(1): Freedom of speech in Parliament, subject to provisions of the Constitution, rules and
standing orders regulating the procedures of Parliament (i.e. use of only Parliamentary terms, cannot discuss a person not in the house, etc)

ARTICLE 105(2): No member shall be liable to any proceedings in any Court of Law in the country in
respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee (i.e. if a member says in Parliament that another is a crook, the accused cannot file a suit against the accuser). No person shall be so liable in respect of the publication o any report, paper, votes or proceedings.

ARTICLE 361A (1): Protection of publication of proceedings of Parliament and State Legislatures.
No civil court criminal proceedings will be initiated in any court or newspaper publication of a substantially true report of any proceedings of either house of Parliament or Legislative Assemblies unless the publication is proved to have been made with malice. 14

ARTICLE 361A (2): This is applied to reports broadcast by means of wireless telegraphy as well.
The term Parliamentary Privileges or Rights or Immunities is defined as the sum of the peculiar rights enjoyed by each House collectively and by members of each House of Parliament individually without which they cannot discharge their functions and which exceed those possessed by other bodies and individuals. As stated earlier, the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of Parliament, State Legislatures, Members of Parliament, Members of State Legislatures and Committees are determined as defined by Parliament or State Legislatures from time to time.

ARTICLE 194: is an exact reproduction of Article 105. One deals with both Houses of Parliament, while
the other deals with State Legislatures. In a nutshell, the Constitution confers on each member of the Houses certain rights, immunities and powers individually & collectively. Parliamentary Privilege is an essential incident to the high and multifarious functions which the Legislature is called upon to perform. The Parliament, State Legislatures, their Members and Committees need unimpeded functioning. They also need protection of the rights and privileges of the members and vindication of its own authority and dignity. According to Article 105, Clause (1), no action civil or criminal lying against a member for defamation or the like in respect of things said in Parliament, but there are Parliamentary rules and regulations (ref: Kaul & Shaktar) which prohibits use of un-Parliamentary terms, discussing a person who cannot defend her/himself in the house by not being its member.

BEYOND FREEDOM OF SPEECH: This immunity of no action that could be taken against what a member
said in the House, is not limited to mere spoken words alone. It extends to votes, as Article 105 Clause (2) specifically declares that any vote given by a member in Parliament or any committee is covered by immunity. Though not expressly stated, the freedom of speech would extend to other acts connected with the House proceedings like Issue of Notices of Motions, Questions, etc.







PARLIAMENT: is restricted to the provisions of the Constitution

relating to procedures of Parliament - Articles 107 & 121 (eg. freedom of speech in parliament would not permit a member to discuss the conduct of any Judge of Supreme or High Court. However, theres an option that provides for removal of the judge through impeachment). Similarly, use of un-Parliamentary language or un-parliamentary conduct is not permitted in the name of freedom of speech. Article 105, under which freedom of speech is guaranteed to a member in Parliament or State Legislatures and Article 19 under which freedom of speech is guaranteed to a citizen are different. The freedom of speech guaranteed to an ordinary citizen under Article 19(1)(A) is subject to reasonable restrictions under Clause (2) of Article 19. But the freedom of speech guaranteed to a Member of Parliament or Legislature is not restricted under Article 19(2). Clauses (1) and (2) of Article 105 permit a member for what s/he said within the House and not what a member may say outside. If a member publishes his/her speech outside the House and it is defamatory, he can be liable for action. Also immunity is granted against court action to what is said during the course of a sitting of the House and transaction of business. It is the essence of Parliamentary system of government that peoples representatives should be free to express themselves without fear of legal action. What they say is only subject to the discipline of the rules of Parliament or State Legislatures, the good sense of the members and the control of proceedings by the speaker. The Courts have no say in the matter and should have really none. In the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha case MPs who took a bribe voted and enjoyed immunity and those who took a bribe and did not vote faced action. The Court held that the privilege of immunity from court proceedings in Article 105(2) extends even to bribes taken by members of Parliament for the purpose of voting in a particular manner in Parliament. The Court was however unanimous that MPs who gave bribes or who took bribes but did not participate in the voting could not claim immunity from Court proceedings under Article 105(2). 15

A House of Parliament or Legislature cannot try anyone directly as a Court of Justice can. But it can impeach a person by summoning to the bar of the House for breach of privilege and can be reprimanded or admonished. The trial of a murder committed inside the House is vested in ordinary courts.


OF PRIVILEGES: tries breach of privilege by the Prime Minister, Ministers or Members or Outsiders (leakage of Budget Papers case tried against Finance Minister). Refusal to appear before Committee of Privileges is treated as contempt. Even giving false evidence or statement is treated as contempt. There are cases of editors being summoned to Legislatures for what is objected to by the Privileges Committees.



PARLIAMENT/STATE LEGISLATURE: The concept of privileges of parliament rests on the

principle that a sovereign legislature should be able to perform its legislatives and deliberative functions independently and effectively. For this it should posses certain inherent or conferred powers to punish for breach of such privileges. Articles 105 (3) of the Constitution empower Parliament and State Legislatures respectively to enact laws codifying their privileges. However, neither parliament nor any of the legislatures of the states has so far done so. Therefore, according to the Constitution itself; the privileges enjoyed by them are the same as, and not more than, those of the British House of Commons. One has to wade through the rulings, customs and practices of the House of Commons and the seek guidance for the Rules of Business and conduct of Proceedings of the House. Breach of privilege of either House of central or state legislature is usually known as contempt of Parliament like the contempt of courts. A journalist or editor can be punished with imprisonment or administered a warning, admonition or reprimand for the breach of privileged of the Hours. His privileges like facilities to enter the precincts of the House and cover its proceedings can be withdrawn. He can be asked to publish an apology. However, no fines are imposed. There are number of cases on privileges of the Houses. They include Karanjia Case, Keshav Singh Case, and Eenadu Case. In the Keshav Singh case, the Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, committed Keshav Singh to prison for contempt of the House for writing a disrespectful letter to him. on this an Advocate filed a petition in the High Court for his release. The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court released him on bail. Appraised on this order, the UP Assembly passed a resolution that not only Keshav Singh and his advocate had committed contempt of the House by moving the petition before the High Court, but the two judges were also guilty of contempt. The resolution directed that all these persons should be brought into custody before the House. Then the Marshal of the Assembly from implementing the resolution of the House. After the interim order, the Assembly passed another resolution which made the previous resolution milder. At this stage the President of India made a reference to the Supreme Court for its opinion on the case. In its opinion the Supreme Court said that neither the two judges nor the Advocate had committed contempt of the House by moving or dealing with the petition. Contempt has a wider sweep than breach of privilege. Contempt can be committed by an act or utterance which undermines the dignity of the House even without violating any particular privilege of the legislature.


But, it is not a breach of privilege to publish without malice a substantially true report of the proceedings of the house even if it is defamatory, seditious or obscene in nature. No civil or criminal proceedings can be launched in a court of law for publication of such a report even if it offends the laws relating to official secrets, defamation, sedition, obscenity or other offences under the IPC. The legislature in India has not enacted any law codifying its privileges, mainly because any such lwa will be subject to a judicial review in respect or the citizens, fundamental rights. The press has been rightly demanding that the privileges of parliament should be codified so that it knows the cope and limits of its freedom vis--vis the legislature.


2.2 Indian Penal Code 1860
Indian Democracy is based on Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, which is considered as the mother of all democracies. The legal process was inherited from the colonial rulers of Britain. It developed the public policy in India. Many of the sections in IPC and CRPC are borrowed from the British colonial era. Though the masters have changed, the politics still continues to be the same in some way or the other. The intention of these laws, as far as the Press is concerned remains to be the same, i.e. the ruler wants a grip over the ruled and the fourth estate. The question is: are these sections of IPC and CRPC violating Freedom of the Press, or are they targeting some special groups like minorities or social action groups waging a war against social or economic injustice? Are they instrumental in bringing police raj to a free and sovereign country? Are they a double-edged weapon? There had been heated discussions and debates in the legal, social and political forums from time to time. All these aspects should be reviewed against the backdrop of the changing socio-political scenario and freedom of expression in India Today. Similarly, these should be studied against the trial and tribulations of the freedom movement and the colonial rule. The ordeal of a people walking from colonial slavery to the dawn of freedom and the laws and regulations on all fronts should be taken into account. The Press was subjected to all kinds of torture and gagging in the British Raj through a chain of laws; some of which are still existing in some way or the other. Certain sections of IPC, CRPC, Offical Secrets Act, Incitement To Offences Act, to name a few, were brought in to curb Freedom of the Press. Editors were arrested, reporters were intimidated, publishers were sent to jail, and the pen was snatched away from the hands of journalists. This era also saw a fast growing Free Press in India. It became the voice of millions of voiceless and the marginalised rural population. Some stunning statistics: (i) Between Oct 1931 Feb 1935 527 Press and Newspapers were required to furnish security, and 124 to furnish additional security. (ii) 17 newspapers had their additional security forfeited. (iii) 256 ceased publication. Censorship, pre-censorship and rates for newspapers were common. After India attained freedom in 1947, the founding father of the Constitution ensured Freedom of speech & expression in the Constitution. It was safeguarded religiously except for a brief period during Emergency (1975-1977). There were of course exceptions in between. The first PM of India, Pundit J Nehru, a true democrat, declared I would rather have a completely Free Press with all dangers involved in the wrong use of that freedom, than a suppressed or regulated press. True was he. But still there are some stumbling blocks like as the discussion below.


One cannot paint all these laws and regulations in IPC and CRPC with the same brush. A vigilant society can deal with the faulty laws through a vibrant and proactive law making process.

IPC Section 124(A) Sedition: Whoever by spoken or written words, or by signs or by visible
representation or otherwise brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites disaffection i.e. disloyalty and feelings of enmity to the government, shall be punished for life imprisonment or 3 years of imprisonment with or without fine. The criticism often raised is that this section of SEDITION leads to curtailment of Freedom of the Press. This is used to cub Freedom of speech and expression, it is often alleged.

IPC Section 153(A) Promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race,
place of birth, residence, language, etc. and doing acts of prejudicial to maintenance of harmony: Three years of imprisonment with or without fine is the punishment. Offences committed in places of worship, or in any assembly engaged in the performance of religious worship, ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of five years with fine. Newspapers can be easily charged under this section (eg. creating disharmony - In areas where insurgency is rampant, publications have been seized under this section. This is a non bail-able offence and police can arrest a person under this section without a warrant).

IPC Section 153(B) Imputations, assertions, prejudicial to national integration. Publication of such
items can come under Government scrutiny and action could be taken. Punishment is 3 years imprisonment with or without fine. If it is related to religion or a religious place of worship, the punishment is imprisonment of 5 years with fine.

IPC Section 292 sale, etc. of obscene books writing, drawing, imports, exports of such material
are all included : first conviction 2 years with a fine of Rs.2000/-; second subsequent conviction 5 years and Rs.5000/- fine. If this is done for the public good, for religious purpose, science and literature or if it comes under Ancient Monuments & Archaeological Sites & Remains Act 1958, then it is exempted.

IPC Section 292(A) printing, etc. of grossly indecent or scurrilous matter or matter intended for
blackmail: 2 years of imprisonment with or without fine; second subsequent offence 6 months to 2 years imprisonment.

IPC Section 293 sale of obscene objects to young person: 3 years of imprisonment with Rs.2000/fine; second subsequent 7 years imprisonment with fine of Rs.5000/-


CRPC Section 93 deals with search warrants for produce of documents: The District Magistrate or Chief Judicial Magistrate can issue search warrants for produce of a document CRPC Section 95 gives power to declare certain publications forfeited and to issue search warrants for the same. CRPC Section 96 this provides an opportunity to the newspaper to file and application in High Court to set aside declaration of forfeiture and the application has to be filed within two months of publication in an official gazette. CRPC Section 108 an Executive Magistrate can ask a person to sign bonds of good behaviour for disseminating seditious matters. CRPC Section 144 the law gives the power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger (i.e. with regard to unlawful gathering). CRPC Section 196 give authority regarding prosecution for offences against State and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offences. CRPC Section 327 it shall not be lawful for any person to print or publish any matter in relation to any legal proceedings, except with the previous permission of the Court, if there is any ban on access to public or any particular person to the Court.


- The problem being faced by the Press is that it may have to validate many of the provisions of this Act in the course of honestly discharging its duty. The OSA broadly has two parts:

1. SPYING: The punishment for spying on the countrys defence system is a prison term of up to 14 years, the
provisions of Section 5 are more relevant to freedom of speech and expression.

2. UNAUTHORIZED COMMUNICATION: of any Secret Official Code / Passwords / Sketch / Plan

(Blueprint) / Model / Article / Note / Document / Information / The governments administrative culture from days of past onwards has been secrecy every Act of it is wrapped in secrecy (whether in dictatorship, military junta, modern-day democracy, the rulers and their babus want to throw a veil of secrecy around governance or hang an iron curtain In the USA, even publication of Pentagon Papers related to the Vietnam War was permitted by the Court though it was against the State Security. The Court observed that publication of a matter can be prohibited only when it will inevitably, directly, or immediately imperil the safety of the nation. In India, Section 5 of the Act (Wrongful communication, etc of information) hangs like the sword of Democlatius over the head of the press. It prescribes a punishment with imprisonment of upto 5 years or 5 or both, for a person who voluntarily receives or communicates any Official Secret. It does not properly define the term Official Secret. This means that the Publisher or the Press is at the will and pressure of the Government Official concerned. There has been a longstanding demand for repealing it, but in vain so far. It is alleged that this Act is more of a cover-up aversion than serving national interest. That way, an open government and the peoples RTI are in periled. The Second Press Commission and the Press Council had demanded scrapping of this Section. OSA has proved to be restrictive on investigative reporting. The only plus point is that it is invoked rarely.



This is a piece of draconian act belonging to the vestiges of the British Raj, but created in good faith for National Security. In the era of RTI, this Act is against the very norms of transparency in governance that is why the Second Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Verappa Moily has recommended that this is repealed or scrapped; as it is not intone with the concept of a democratic state. The Moily Commission has suggested that safeguards for State Security should be incorporated into the National Security Act (NSA) instead of the OSA. The Commission also wanted to strengthen the RTI Act. - A relic of the British regime, the OSA is a major impediment in the way of freedom of the press. This has been misused by overzealous government officials who at times act as puffed up bullies to shut the mouth of the press. This law enacted by the colonial regime to protect the executive from public scrutiny and transparency according to the critics. - OSA defines a number of offences which are a threat to the National Security. Its aim is to prevent any threat to (i) National Security (ii) Leakage of Secret Information; (iii) Sabotage of the System; etc. - The problem being faced by the Press is that it may have to validate many of the provisions of this Act in the course of honestly discharging its duty. THE OSA BROADLY HAS TWO PARTS: 1. SPYING: The punishment for spying on the countrys defence system is a prison term of up to 14 years, the provisions of Section 5 are more relevant to freedom of speech and expression. 2. UNAUTHORIZED COMMUNICATION: of any Secret Official Code / Passwords / Sketch / Plan (Blueprint) / Model / Article / Note / Document / Information /


The governments administrative culture from days of past onwards has been secrecy every Act of it is wrapped in secrecy (whether in dictatorship, military junta, modern-day democracy, the rulers and their babus want to throw a veil of secrecy around governance or hang an iron curtain In the USA, even publication of Pentagon Papers related to the Vietnam War was permitted by the Court though it was against the State Security. The Court observed that publication of a matter can be prohibited only when it will inevitably, directly, or immediately imperil the safety of the nation. In India, Section 5 of the Act (Wrongful communication, etc of information) hangs like the sword of Democlatius over the head of the press. It prescribes a punishment with imprisonment of unto 5 years or 5 or both, for a person who voluntarily receives or communicates any Official Secret. It does not properly define the term Official Secret. This means that the Publisher or the Press is at the will and pressure of the Government Official concerned. There has been a longstanding demand for repealing it, but in vain so far. It is alleged that this Act is more of a cover-up aversion than serving national interest. That way, an open government and the peoples RTI are in periled. The Second Press Commission and the Press Council had demanded scrapping of this Section. OSA has proved to be restrictive on investigative reporting. The only plus point is that it is invoked rarely. This Act is considered by lovers of the Freedom of the Press as the most deadly of all laws affecting the Press in India. According to this Act, a person passing Official Secrets can clandestinely to the enemies of the State, is punishable for 3 to 5 to 14 years. But in the case of a newspaper, the so called Official Secret is not passed to the enemy state but to the people who have every right to law matters with relation to the government. Only a hyper patriotic judiciary can find the Press guilty under this Act, it has been observed. During Mrs. Gandhis infamous emergency (1975-1977), this Act caused a grave threat to the Freedom of the Press like the black law of censorship. Thought the Janata Government had set up an expert group to study he Act closely, it recommended to make the Act more rigorous and stringent. In 1889, Official Secrets Law was enacted in Britain and was duplicated in India as well. In 1923, the actual Indian version of OSA came into existence. In 1967 it was amended in the aftermath of the 1965 Indo-Pak war. The basic features however did not change.


SECTION 3: PENALTIES FOR SPYING:14 years of imprisonment. SECTION 4: COMMUNICATION WITH FOREIGN AGENTS SECTION 5: WRONGFUL COMMUNICATION: shall be punishable for a term which may extend to 3 years, with or without fine. SECTION 6: UNAUTHORISED USE OF UNIFORMS; FALSIFICATION OF REPORTS; FORGERY; FALSE DOCUMENTS SECTION 7: INTERFERING WITH OFFICERS OF THE POLICE / ARMED FORCES punishable for a term which may extend to 3 years, with or without fine. SECTION 10: PENALTY FOR HARBOURING SPIES punishable for a term which may extend to 3 years, with or without fine.

The OSA 1923, was no doubt enacted with the local purpose of protecting the safety and integrity of the State, but unfortunately the wide discretionary powers conferred upon the administrative authorities with a view to facilitating the task of protection of National Security were being exercised indiscriminately. There is no doubt that a statute of the nature of OSA is an indispensable requirement of sovereign State; there is also no doubt that it is a grave threat to Freedom of the Press and transparency in governance. 20


Revolutions in democracies are bloodless and take place in the confines of Legislatures - RTI 2005 is one of them. It is a law enacted by the Parliament of India and aimed at giving access to records of Central and State governments. All the States and Union Territories, except Jammu & Kashmir come under this Act. J&K is covered by a state-level law. - Any citizen of India, including from J&K can seek information from a public authority under this law. A public authority means any authority or body or institution of self-government, established or constituted by or under the Constitution of India, by any other law made by Parliament or State Legislatures. Reply should be given expeditiously or within 30 days The Act requires the public authority to computerise their records for wide dissemination. Parliament passed the RTI Bill on June 15, 2005. It came into force on Oct 13, 2005. Disclosure of official information was prevented by OSA 1923 and various other special laws. RTI Act has relaxed this. In 1975, the Supreme Court of India issued a judgment on the citizens right to know. This was a major turning point and it awaited the citizens to their right to know. OSA 1923 which was modeled on the British law of OSA 1899 kept a lid on peoples right to know. This lid was blown off. OSA prohibited disclosure of information related to security of the State, sovereignty of the country, friendly relations with foreign states, non-classified information, etc. Besides OSA, Civil Service Conduct Rules and Indian Evidence Act give ample powers to keep away information from people. In 2000, the NDA government had passed Freedom of Information Bill 2000. This was based on an extremely diluted form of a draft prepared by veteran civil rights activist, H D Shourie. This eventually became a law know as Freedom of Information Act 2002. This act came under fire from various quarters as it gave too many exemptions. These included not only the usual exemptions on the grounds of national security and sovereignty, but also requests such as disclosure of information regarding disproportionate diversion of the resources of a public authority for example. Similarly, there was no upper limit on the charges that could be levied for seeking information. Also there were no penalties prescribed to impose on government officials for not complying with the request for information. So FOI Act never became an effective force. RTI activists kept pressure on the Central Government to come up with a better version of this Act replacing the toothless FOI Act 2002. The first draft of the RTI Bill was presented to Parliament in December 2004 during the UPA rule. It is applicable to all constitution authorities, executive, legislature, and judiciary, any institution or body established or constituted by an Act of Parliament or a State Legislature, or bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by government or non-government organisations substantially financed directly or indirectly by funds provided by the government. Private bodies are not directly under the Act. However, information that can be accessed under any other law in force by public authority can also be requested for. Privatized Pubic Utility companies (though they are privatized), have been brought under the RTI Act by Central Information Commission under the verdict. The Act overwrites OSA 1923. The RTI Act specifies that the citizens have a right to request and obtain any information as defined; take copies of documents; inspect documents, works and records; take certified samples of materials of work; obtain information from printouts, disks and floppies, tapes and video cassettes, or in any other electronic mode. The Act prescribes that all those authorities covered by it must appoint a Public Information Officer (PIO). Any citizens can submit a request to the PIO in writing for any information. It is the duty of the PIO to provide this information. If the request concerns some other Public Authority, it is the responsibility of the PIO to transfer or forward the request to his counterpart within five days. PIO 21

will be assisted by Asst. PIOs. The citizen who wants information needs to disclose only his name and contact details; the citizen doesnt need to disclose the reason for seeking information.


If the request is made to the PIO, the reply should be given within 30days of receipt. If it is made to the APIO, the reply should be given within 35 days of receipt. If the PIO transfers the request to any other Public Authority, the reply should be given within 30 days from the receipt of transfer by the PIO concerned. - Information concerning corruption and Human Rights violation by scheduled security agencies (CSF, BSF, etc.) is to be provided within 45 days, but with prior approval of the Central Information Commission (CIC). - If life or liberty of any person is involved, the PIO should reply within 48 hours. - The applicant has to deposit an amount for obtaining the information.


FEE: Initially for Central Departments, the fee fixed for filing of a request was Rs.10/-, Rs.2/- per page
of information, Rs.5/- for each hour of inspection after the first hour. There will be no fee for BPL persons (who have to produce their ID). If information is not provided within the stipulated time, it is treated as refusal. Refusal with or without reason could be the ground for filing an appeal or complaint.

SUB-SECTION 7(3) of the Act permits the PIO to demand unprescribed further fees or additional fees
from the applicants for providing information. This had generated a heated debate and a raging controversy. SECTION 8 of the Act gives exemption from disclosure of information - disclosure of which would be prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India; the security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the state; relations with foreign states, or lead to incitement of the offence - (ii) Information which has been forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court - (iii) information, the disclosure of which would cause a breech of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature (iv) information including commercial confidence, trade secrets, or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority (PIO / CIC) is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information - (v) Information received in confidence from a foreign government - (vi) Cabinet members including records of deliberations with the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers.


In terms of the Section 2(f) of the Act, information has been defined as any material in any form including records, documents, memos, emails, opinions, advises, press releases, circulars, orders, log books, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law


FROM RTI: Scheduled Central Intelligence and Security Agencies like: Intelligence Bureau, Research Analysis Wing, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Enforcement, Narcotics Controlled Bureau, Central Investigation Bureau are excluded from the ambit of RTI Act. However, their exclusion is not absolute. They have an obligation to provide information related to corruption and human rights violations, information regarding violation of Human Rights could be given after the prior approval of the Central or State Information Commission.


SECTION 11: If a request is made by a citizen for the disclosure of confidential information given by a
third party, the Central or State Information Officers can oblige if it is in the public interest and the same outweighs in importance and any possible harm or injury to the interest of such third party. In the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law such third party information would not be disclosed. Within 5 days of a request of this kind, the third party who gave the confidential information should be issued a written notice and his submission should be taken into account.

SECTION 12 & 15

deal with Central and State Information Commissions, terms of office and conditions, service, and removal of Chief Information Commissioners.


SECTION 20: Imposes penalties on Central or State PIOs for not accepting applications or for not
replying within the stipulated time or for giving incomplete or misleading information or for destroying information. It shall impose a penalty of Rs.250/- each day till the application is received or information is furnished. However, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed Rs.25, 000/-.

Section 26: calls upon the Central and State governments excluding J&K tom promote RTI Act
through wide publicity and educational programmes. According to unofficial sources, in the first year of RTI Act about 42,000 applications for information were filed by citizens to Central government authorities. This shows the popularity and urgency of the Act and the crave for transparency. His also shows the extent of grievances among the public. Over 878 cases had reached up to the final appellate stage (Central Information Commission- New Delhi); a few of them had further been taken to High Courts of various States. In 2006, the UPA Government made an attempt to make certain amendments to the RTI Act. This was opposed by RTI activists and public. Subsequently the government shelved the move. RTI Act, as it is stated in its introduction itself was intended to secure access (to citizens) to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority It further declared democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to is functioning, and also to contain corruption and to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed. The Act was aimed at narrowing down the gap between the ruler and the ruled in the true spirit of democracy. RTI Act was ensured in the Common Minimum Programme of UPA. It was strongly recommended by the National Advisory Committee headed by Sonia Gandhi. However, the move in 2006 to amend the Act and dilute its powers surprised RTI activists. The very purpose of the Act was to tear off the iron curtain between the rulers and the ruled, end corruption, nepotism, red-tapeism, bribe, and ensure transparency and fix accountability. Indias RTI Act was rated high among similar Acts in other 18-odd countries. It was refined an improved version of FOI Act 2002 which for example held back file-notings and legal advise from the enquiring citizen. However, in the case of disclosure of file-notings the RTI Act was not clear. In order to clarify this, the CIC gave a ruling stating that file-notings came under the Act. There was strong behind the scenes move against this ruling and the Union Cabinet on July 20, 2006, decided to amend the Act so that file-notings and notes related to cabinet decisions wont be covered under the Act. RTI activists argued that file-notings in important government decisions by public authorities (like Union Public Service Commission, etc.) were very crucial as they play a key role in the decision making process. It will clearly reveal the reasons for which a particular decision was taken / not taken. These reasons and who made these reasons were as important as the final decision. It was argued by RTI activists who argued that file-notings were an integral part of the file and should not be withheld from the people and should not be taken out of the ambit of the RTI Act. The government maintained that disclosure of file-notings will prevent public authorities from recording their opinions frankly and fearlessly. It further claimed that there was a possibility of misusing such information obtained through RTI Act. This also may lead to personal rivalries and related complications. It was pointed out that such 23

clauses were included in similar Acts in UK, USA and Australia. RTI activists counter argued that comparing India with these advanced and developed societies where democracy and democratic institutions stand tall, and transparency and accountability rated highly, was not fair. To cut a long story short, the government finally gave up the idea in the face of stiff opposition. Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains, these chains may appear in the form of laws and by-laws, rules and regulations, wanted and unwanted. While it is a duty of a citizen to obey the states laws, he has also every right to question the laws which infringe upon his freedom. Similarly, every citizen of a democratic country has the right to know how the decision makers function and behave. The Right to Information Movement and its culmination the RTI Act, were the result of this. Though it may still need some fine-tuning, it is a vital piece of law.

As its preamble says, this is an Act to regulate certain conditions of service of Working Journalists and other persons employed in newspaper establishments. The provisions of Industrial Disputes Act 1947 are applicable to Working Journalists Act. This Act deals with various aspects of Working Journalists and other employees regarding their wages, bonus, gratuity, compensation, service conditions, retrenchment, service disputes, hours of work, leave, maternity leave, wage board, interim relief, constitution of wage revising tribunals, etc. Working Journalist Fixation of Rates of Wages, ACT -1958. This is an Act to provide for the fixation of rates of wages in respect of working journalists and for matters connected with this. The previous act included other employees as well. This Act deals with among other things the constitution of a committee by Central Government to fix wages of Working Journalists in the light of a Supreme Court judgment dated March 19, 1958. It details out the functions formation and powers of the committee. It also deals with the powers if the Central Government to enforce the recommendations of the Committee, recovery of money, due to a working journalist from an employer, etc. For example, section 12 A of the Act deals with the penalty for the employer for violation of wage law which is Rs.200.

"Newspaper" means any printed periodical work containing public news or comments on public news and includes such other class of printed periodical work as many, from time to time, be notified in this behalf by central Government in the official Gazette. "Newspaper Employees" means any working Journalists and includes any other person employed to do any work in or in relation to any newspaper establishment. "Newspaper Establishment" means an establishment under the control of any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not for any production or publication of one or more newspaper or for conducting any news agency or syndicate. "Working Journalists" means a person whose principal avocation is that of a journalist and (who is employed as such, either whole-time or part -time in, or in relation to, one or more newspaper 24

establishment), and includes an editor , a leader writer , news-editor, sub-editor, feature-writer, copytester, reporter, correspondent, cartoonist, news-photographer and proof-reader, but does not include any such person who; 1. is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity or 2. Being employed in a supervisory capacity performs, either by the nature of duties attached to his office of by reasons of the power vested in him, and function mainly of a managerial nature.

WORKING JOURNALIST: Sec 25-f of the aforesaid act, in its application to working journalist, shall be
construed as in Cl. (a) thereof, for the period of notice referred to therein in relation to the retrenchment of a workman, the following periods in relation to the retrenchment of a working journalist has been substituted, namely - a) six months, in case of an editor, b) three months, in case of any other working Journalists. Termination of Service without notice-Effect thereof-where a journalist was permitted to continue into employment even after he has attained the age of superannuation, but later on his service was terminated without giving him notice or retrenchment compensation, it was held by the court that the action of the management of the company in terminating the services was illegal and improper. SPECIAL PROVISIONS IN RESPECT OF CERTAIN CASES OF RETRENCHMENT: Where at any time between 14 July 1954 and 12 March 1955, any working journalist had been retrenched he shall be entitled to receive from employer - wages for one month at the rate to which he was entitled immediately before his retrenchment , unless he has been given one month notice in writing before such retrenchment; and - compensation which shall be equivalent to 15 days average pay for every completed years of service under that employer or any part thereof in excess of six months.


OF GRATUITY : Any working journalists has been in continuous service, whether before or after the commencement of this Act for not less than 3 years in any newspaper establishment and - His services are terminated by the employer in relation to that newspaper establishment for any reason whatsoever, otherwise than a punishment inflicted by way of disciplinary action or - He retires from services on reaching the age of superannuation or - any working journalist has been in continuous service whether before or after the commencement of this Act for not less than 10 years in any newspaper establishment and he voluntarily resign on or after 1st day of July 1961 from services in that newspaper establishment on any ground what so ever other than on the ground of conscience or - any working journalist has been in continuous service whether before or after the commencement of this Act for not less than 3 years in any newspaper establishment and he voluntarily resigned on or after 1st day of July 1961, from services in that newspaper establishment on any ground whatsoever other than on the ground of conscience or - Any working journalist dies while he is in service in any newspaper establishment

6) Hours of Work: Subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, no working journalist shall
be required or allowed to work in any newspaper establishment for more than 144 hours during any periods of 4 consecutive weeks, exclusive of time for meals. - Every working journalist shall be allowed during any period of 7 consecutive days rest for a period of not less than 24 consecutive hours, the period between 10 pm and 6 pm being included therein (Explanation - for the purpose of this section ,"week" means a period of 7 days beginning at midnight on Saturday.) The maximum hour of work for any period of consecutive weeks is 144 hours.



OF WORK): 1. The provision of this chapter shall not apply to editor, or to correspondents, reporters or news photographers, 2. Not withstanding any thing contained in sub rule (1) the following provision shall apply to every correspondent, reporter , news photographer stationed at the place at which the newspaper ( in relation to person is employed) namely - A) Subject to such agreement as may be arrived at either collectively or individually between the parties concerned, every correspondent, reporter or news photographer shall, once he enters upon duty on any day, be deemed to be on duty throughout that day till he finishes all the work assigned to him during the day. - Provided that if such correspondent, reporter or news photographer has had at his disposal for rest any interval or intervals for a total period of two hours or less between any two or more assignments of work , he shall not be on duty during such period - Provided further that where the total period of such interval or intervals exceeds two hours he shall be deemed to be on duty during the period which is in excess of the said period of two hours. - B) Any period of work in excess of 36 hours during any week (which shall be considered as a unit of work for the purpose of this subrule) shall be compensated by rest during the succeeding week and shall be given in one or more spells of not more than three hours each.

Provided that where the aggregate of the excess hours worked falls short of duration of rest shall be limited only to such excess.

three hours, the

NORMAL WORKING DAYS: The number of hours which shall constitute a normal working day for
working journalists exclusive of time for meals shall exceed six hours per day in case of a day shift and five and half hours per day in case of night shift and no working journalist shall ordinarily be required or allowed to work for longer than the number of hours constituting a normal working day.

COMPENSATION FOR OVER TIME WORK: When a working journalist works for more than six hours on
any day in the case of day shift, and more than five and half hours in case of night shift, he shall in respect of that overtime work, be compensated in the form of hours of rest equal in number to the hours for which he has worked overtime.

HOLIDAYS: The number of holidays in a year - A working journalist shall be entitled to 10 holidays in a calendar year and shall be entitled to wages on all holidays if he was on duty. - A working journalist
shall be entitled to wages for weekly day of rest if he was on duty.

Without prejudice to such holidays, casual leave or other kind of leave as may be prescribed, every working journalists shall be entitled to Earned leave on full wages for not less than one-eleventh of the period spent on duty, provided that he shall cease to earn such leave when the earned leave due amounts to ninety days. Leave on medical certificate: A working journalists shall be entitled to leave on medical certificate on one-half of wages for not less than one-eighteenth of the period of service. A working journalist shall be entitled to earned leave on full wages for a period not less than one month for every eleven months spent on duty provided that he shall cease to earn such leave due amount to 90 days. The period spent on duty shall include weekly days of rest, holidays, casual leave and quarantine leave. A female working journalist who has put in not less than one years service in the newspaper establishment in which she is for the time being employed shall be granted maternity leave on full wages on production of a medical certificate from an authorized medical practitioner for a period 26

Earn Leave:

Maternity Leave:

which may extend for three months from the date of its commencement or six weeks from the confinement which ever is earlier. Leave of any other may be granted in continuation of maternity leave. Maternity leave shall also be granted in case of miscarriage, including abortion, subject to the condition that the leave does not exceeds six weeks.

Quarantine Leave: Quarantine leave on full wage shall be granted by newspaper establishment on
the certificate of authorized medical practioner for a period not exceeding 21 days or in exceptional circumstances, 30 days. Extraordinary Leave: A working journalist who has no leave to his credit may be granted, at the discretion of newspaper establishment in which such working journalist is employed leave not due. Study leave may be granted in same pattern. Casual Leave: A working journalist shall be eligible for casual leave at the discretion of newspaper establishment for 15 days in a calendar year.



WAGE BOARD: For the purpose of fixing or revising rates of wages in respect of

working journalists the Central Government shall as and when necessary constitute a wage board which shall consist of - Three persons representing employers in relation to newspaper establishments - Three persons representing working journalists - Four independent persons, one of whom shall be a person who is or has been a judge of High court or Supreme court and who shall be appointed by the Government as the Chairman.

COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957 // 3.4

Copyright is a right guaranteed and given to creators of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, and producers of cinematography, films and sound recordings by the Copyright Act 1957. This is amended from time to time. It has got rights related to reproduction, communication to public, adaptation, and translation of a work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards for the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by Copyright Act to the works of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects, and producers of sound recordings, cinematography films, and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity. - If Copyright protection is applied rigidly, it can hamper protection of the society. Copyright Laws are enacted with necessary exceptions and limitations to ensure that a balance is maintained between the interest of the creators and the community. Many types of exploitation of work which are for social purposes such as education, religious ceremonies, are exempted from the operation of the Act. Copyright in a work is considered as infringed only if a substantial part is made use of unauthorizedly. What is substantial varies from case to case. More often than not, it is a matter of quality than quantity (eg. if a lyricist copies a very catchy phrase from another lyricists song, there is likely to be infringement even if that phrase is short). Subject to certain conditions, a fair deal for research, study, criticism, review, and news reporting, as well as use of works in libraries and schools and in legislatures is permitted without specific permission of the copyright owners. IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE INTEREST OF THE USERS SOME EXCEPTIONS ARE BEING PRESCRIBED: 1. for the purpose of research or private study 27

2. for criticism or review 3. for reporting current evens 4. in connection with judicial proceedings 5. performance by an amateur club or society if the performance is given to a non-paying audience 6. the making of sound recordings of literary, dramatic, or musical works with pre-conditions The Copyright Act 1957 protects original, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, cinematographic films and sound recordings from unauthorized users. Unlike the case with patents, Copyright Act protects the expressions and not their ideas. There is no copyright in an idea. Copyright does not ordinarily protect titles by themselves or names, short-word combinations, slogans, short phrases, plots or factual information. It does not protect ideas or concepts. To get the protection of copyright, a work must be original. Joint Authorship means a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not distinct from the other. A work under the Act means a literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, cinematographic film and sound recording. Copyright exists all over India in the case of original literary work, dramatic, musical & artistic work, including cinematographic films and sound recordings. - ARTISTIC WORK: painting, sculpture, drawing, etc. - MUSICAL WORK: consisting of music to include any graphical notations of such work, but doesnt include words or any action intended to be sung, spoken, or performed with music. A musical work neednt be written down to enjoy copyright protection. - SOUND RECORDING: recording of sounds from which sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made, or the method by which the sounds are produced. A phonogram and a CD Rom are sound recordings - CINEMATOGRAPH FILM: any work of visual recording on any medium produced through a process from which a moving image may be produced. - A GOVERNMENT WORK: work which is made or published by the government or its departments, legislatures, courts and tribunals. - AN INDIAN WORK: literary, dramatics, musical work produced or authored by a citizen of India or which is first published in India; or the author of which at the time of making the work is a citizen of India. - Copyright protects the rights of authors i.e. creators of intellectual property in the form of literary, musical, dramatic, artistic and cinematographic films and sound recordings WHO IS THE AUTHOR? Ordinarily the author is the first owner of copyright in a work. - literary/dramatic: person who creates the work - music: the composer - cinematography: the producer. - sound recording: the producer - photograph: photographer - computer graphic: the creator - There are many right holders in a musical sound recording (eg. lyricists, score composer, singer, musicians performing, person/company who produced the recording) generally the producer buys all the rights. - A sound recording generally comprises various rights. It is necessary to obtain the licences from each and every right owner in the sound recording for the purpose of a public performance. This includes the producer of the sound recording, lyricist, musicians and music composer. - The first owner of the copyright of a government work is the government in the absence of an agreement contrary to that. OWNER OF COPYRIGHT DURING EMPLOYMENT: In the case of literary, dramatic, artistic work, made by the author in the course of his/her employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, under a contract of service or apprenticeship for the purpose of publication in a news paper 28

the proprietor shall in the absence of any agreement to the contrary be the first owner of the copyright. In the case of a work produced in the course of the authors employment under a contract of service, the employer shall be the first owner of the copyright, otherwise there should be a pre-condition. ASSIGNING COPYRIGHT: Copyright is assignable. The owner of the copyright in an existing work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially. The assignment should be done in writing signed by the assigner or by his/her duly authorized agent. It shall identify the specific work. The assignment is done for a specific period and if the assignee does not exercise the rights assigned to him/her within a period of 1 year from the date of assignment, it will lapse. PERIOD OF COPYRIGHT ASSIGNMENT: If the period of assignment is not specified, it shall be deemed to be 5 years from the date of assignment, and the territorial extent of the assignment will be all over India. The author of a work may relinquish the rights by giving notice, the prescribed form, to the registrar of copyrights.


The rights of literary work under Copyright Act: means to reproduce the work, to perform the work in public, to communicate the work to public, to make a movie or sound recording, to make any translation of the work, to make any adaptation of the work. The translation of an original work is protected by copyright. Computer programmes are protected under copyright. They are treated as literary works. The rights of a dramatic work under Copyright Act: are to produce the work, to communicate the work to public, perform the work in public, issue copies of the work to public, to include the work in movies and to make adaptations of the work. The rights in artistic work under Copyright Act: means the exclusive right to reproduce the work, to communicate the work, to issue copies of the work to public, to include it in any cinematographic work and to make adaptations. The rights in a cinematographic film under Copyright Act: means the exclusive right to make a copy of the film, include a photograph of any image forming part of the movie, to sell or give on hire a copy of the film and exhibit it to the public. The rights in a sound recording under Copyright Act: same as applicable in cinematographic film. reproduction means that no person shall make one/ more copies of a work or of a substantial part of it without the permission of a copyright owner. The most common type of reproduction is printing and edition of a work. communication to the public means making any work available for being seen or heard or otherwise enjoyed by the public, directly or by any means of display or diffusion. adaptation involves the preparation of a new work, in the same or different form based on an already existing work. The Copyright Act defines the following acts as adaptations: - conversion of a dramatic work into a non-dramatic work - conversion of a literary, artistic work into a dramatic work - rearrangement of a literary or dramatic work - depiction in a comic form or through pictures of a literary or dramatic work The making of a movie out of literary/dramatic/musical work is also an adaptation. A person cannot translate a work enjoying copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. 29

Copyright regarding NEWS: There is no copyright on news; however, there is a copyright over the way in which a news item is reported. REGISTRATION OF WORK: (i) No registration of work is required to claim copyright! Acquisition of copyright is automatic; it requires no formality. However, Certificate of Registration of Copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima face evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright. (ii) Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to acquire copyright. However, a Copyright Act Office has been set up to provide registration facilities to all types of works and is headed by a registrar of copyrights based in Delhi. COPYRIGHT PROTECTION: Copyright is protected for a limited period of time. The general rule is that copyright lasts for sixty years. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, the sixty year period is counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of movies, sound recordings, photographs, anonymous, pseudo-anonymous publications, posthumous publications, works of governments and works of international organizations, the sixty year period is counted from the date of publication. COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL has been set up by the government for monitoring copyright matters. There are no special courts for copyright cases; the regular courts try these cases. There is a Copyright Board to adjudicate certain cases pertaining to copyright. POWERS OF THE COPYRIGHT BOARD: The Copyright Act provides for quasi-judicial body called Copyright Board consisting of a Chairman and two or more other members for adjudicating certain kinds of copyright cases. The total number of members should not exceed 14. The Board Chairman is of the level of a judge of a High Court. The powers of the Board are: - Hear appeals against the orders of the Copyright - Hear applications for the rectification of entries in the register of copyrights - Adjudicate upon disputes on assignment of copyright - Fix the resale share right in the original copies of a painting, sculpture, drawing, and of original manuscripts of a literary, dramatic, musical work. The Registrar of Copyrights has judicial powers of a Civil Court when trying a suit under a code of civil procedure


PERFORMER: as per the Indian Copyright Act a performer includes an actor, singer, musician, dancer, acrobat, juggler, snake charmer, person delivering a lecture, or any other person who makes a performance. Performance in relation to the performers right, means visual presentation made live by one or more performers. The rights of a performer include (1) right to make a sound recording or visual recording of the performance (2) right to reproduce the sound/visual recording of the performance (3) right to broadcast the performance. A performers rights are upto 25 years. RIGHTS OF A PERFORMER IN A MOVIE: Once a performers has consulted for incorporation of his performance in a movie he shall have no performers rights to that performance. A BROADCAST means communication to the public by any means of wireless diffusion with sounds, sign and visual images. The rights of a broadcasting organisation include (1) right to rebroadcast (2) right to broadcast the programme for hearing or seeing (3) right to sell or hire to the public such programmes. These rights last for 25 years. Copyright of Foreign Works: are protected in India, if these countries are mentioned in the International Copyright Order. Copyright of nationals of countries who are members of the BERNE 30

Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, Universal Copyright Convention, TRIPS Agreement are protected in India through the International Copyright Order. The International Copyright Conventions of which India is a member matters significantly in connection with Protection of Copyright Act. The names of such International Copyright Conventions are: (1) BERNE Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, (2) Universal Copyright Convention, (3) Convention for the Protection of Producers of phonograms against unauthorized duplication of their phonograms (4) Multilateral Convention for the avoidance of double taxation of Copyright Royalties, (5) TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement Collective Administration of Copyrights: is a concept where management and protection of copyright in works are undertaken by a society of owners of such works. Obviously no owner of copyright in any work can keep track of all the uses others make of their work. When the owner of a copyright becomes a member of a national copyright society, that society because of its organisational facilities and strengths is able to keep a better vigil over the uses made of that work throughout the country and collect due royalties from the users of the work. Because of the countrys membership in International Conventions, the Copyright Societies are able to have reciprocal agreements with similar societies in other countries for collecting royalties for Indian works in those countries. From this, its can be automatically inferred that it will be in the interest of copyright owners to join a collective administration to ensure better protection of copyright and also for reaping optimum economic benefits from that cooperation. A Copyright Society is a registered collective administration society. It is formed by copyright owners. The minimum membership required for registration of a society is 7. Usually, only one society is registered to do business in respect of the same class of work. A Copyright Society can issue or grant licence in respect of any work in which copyright subsists or in respect of any other right given by the Copyright Act. Moral Rights of an Author: The author of a work has the right to claim authorship of the work and to restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification, or other acts in relation to the said work which is done before the expiry of the term of copyright. Moral rights are available to the authors even after the economic rights are given away. Moral rights are independent of the authors copyright and remains with the author even after the copyright is given. Common Copyright Infringements: Making infringing copies for sale or hire, permitting any place for the performance of works in public where such performance constitutes infringement of copyright, distributing infringing copies for the purpose of trade, public exhibition of infringing copies, etc. As the owner of an auditorium or a hall there is a liability while renting out the place for communication to the public of a copyrighted work if a person permits for profit any place to be used for communication of a work, where such communication constitutes an infringement of the copyright, he will be deemed to have committed an offence under the copyright act. However, if he was not aware and had no reasonable ground for believing that such communication to the public would be an infringement of copyright, action may not be taken against him. Civil Remedies for Copyright Infringement: A copyright owner can take legal action against any person who infringes the copyright in a work. The copyright owner is entitled to remedies by way of injunctions and stay and damages. The district court concerned has the jurisdiction in civil suits regarding copyright infringement. Proof of Authorship of a work: In the case of a literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work, if a name purporting to be that of the author or the publisher appears on the copies of the work or in the case of an artistic work appears on the work where it was made, the persons whose name so appears or appeared shall be considered as the proof of authorship. Any infringed copies of a work shall be treated as a property of the owner of a copyright. Copyright Infringement is a Criminal Offence. Any person who knowingly infringes or abets the infringement of Copyright commits criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright Act. 31

Punishments for a Criminal Offence under a Copyright Law: The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for 6 months with a minimum fine of Rs.50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction, the minimum punishment is imprisonment of 1 year with a fine o Rs.1 lakh. Authorities Responsible for Taking Action w.r.t. Violation of Copyright: Any police officer, not below the rank of a sub-inspector if he is satisfied that an offence in respect of infringement of copyright has been done or is likely to be committed can seize without warrant all copies of the infringing work and all equipment used for the purpose of making infringing copies. As soon as they are seized, they should be produced before a magistrate. Disposal of Infringing Material: The court may order delivery to the owner of the copyright all such copies or equipment. Copyright Offence Committed by a Company: Every person who at the time of the offence being committed was in charge of and responsible to the company for the conduct of business shall be held responsible and be deemed guilty of such offence and shall be liable to be prosecuted against. Courts Responsible for Trying Copyright Offence Cases: No Court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence under the Copyright Act. Can a police officer seize infringing goods, without a warrant? Yes, a police officer not below the level of a sub inspector can seize without the warrant, the infringing copies of the copyright.

PRESS COUNCIL ACT, 1978 // 3.5

One year after emergency PCA came into act. The PCA was set up in 1966 under the Act of 1965 when Indira Gandhi was I&B Minister. IT WAS AIMED AT PRESERVING THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS & MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING THE STANDARDS OF NEWSPAPERS AND NEWS AGENCIES IN INDIA. IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1975 AFTER THE PROCLAMATION OF EMERGENCY . The government enacted a new PCI Act in 1978 and the new PCI came into Act in 1976. PCI consists of a chairman and 28 members. Chairman is usually a highly experienced judicial person, usually a former Supreme Court Judge. He is appointed by a committee headed by the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. --- 20 members are dominated by the panels submitted by working journalist bodies consisting editors and owners. Of these 13 are located from among the working journalists rest from Editors of language press owners, small earned media newspapers and news agencies. Five member of the parliament (2from Rajya Sabha and 3 from Lok Sabha) are also included. The term of the chairman is 3years.---------The term of the members which Is normally 3 years ends with the term of the council. The chairman can continue till the next council. The chairman can continue till the new council takes over but not beyond 6 months. - A retired member can be re-nominated only once 3 members can be nominated by UGC University if Bar and Council of India and Science Academy. - Press council does not deal with Electronic Media. It has quasi judicial function and has therefore been vested with the powers of the civil court i.e. it can summon and examine witnesses, documents, receivers evidence and affidavit issue commission for examining witnesses, documents or nay other ,matter which may be prescribes. The council holds open enquiries or complains received against newspapers, news agencies, journalists etc. on the basis of the enquiry the council declares its adjudication. - It has issued guidelines on some important matters like the riots, Jatt riots, communal tension and their reporters. The council has powers to levy a graded fee on newspapers and news agencies to meet its expenditure and to reduce its dependence and government financial support. - In times of absence of self regulation by newspaper industry the PCA steps in suo-moto complains received from quarters. 32

The council deals with professionals and industrial aspects of newspapers editorial and circulation. The act defies what is a big newspaper, what is a medium newspaper and what is small newspaper. a big newspaper means the newspaper which has a circulation exceeding 50,000 copies in all editions put together and the medium newspaper means minimum 15,000 copies and maximum 50,000 copies circulation. A small newspaper means a circulation not exceeding 15,000. A common code in broadcasting was evolved in 1962 by the fourth Asian broadcasters conference at Kuala Lumpur to which India was party.

According to certain cardinal principle should be followed by broadcasters and television organizations these are; - They should ensure the objectives presentation of news and fair unbiased content. - They should promote the advancement of agitation and culture. - They should raise and maintain high standards of decency and decorum in all programmes. - They should provide programmes for which by variety and content will inculcate the principles of good citizenship. - They should come out with communal harmony and, religious tolerance, and international understanding. - They should treat controversial public issues in an impartial and dispassionate manner.

Almost everybody in the country is familiar with the cable television. It has been spreading its wings from the initial urban cities, right to the remote villages. There has been a haphazard mushrooming of cable television networks all over the country due to the availability of signals of foreign television networks via satellites. To check the screening of undesirable programmes and advertisements which are screened on these channels and to regulate the operation of the cable television networks in the country, so as to bring uniformity in their functioning, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act was passed in both the Houses of the Parliament. WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE ACT: The Cable Act is accompanied at the start with a statement of aims and objects for regulating this medium. It states that the cable television has spread its wings in every corner of the country. UNDESIRABLE PROGRAMMING: The programmes that are being telecast on the cable are often alien to the Indian culture and way of life. Further more undesirable programmes and advertisements are being screened without any fear of being checked or censorship. AWARENESS OF RIGHTS OF THE VIEWERS: The subscribers of these networks are not aware of their rights, responsibilities and obligations, use of material that is protected by copyright and other important laws which cover such broadcast. HOW DOES THE ACT SEEK TO REGULATE: The act clearly states that unless a cable operator registers under the Act; he cannot operate a cable network. Furthermore, any such programme has to be in conformity with the programme codes and the advertisement codes. It also requires that at least two of the Doordarshan channels should be telecast through the cable service without any deletion or alteration. 33

What is the programme code:

It offends good taste and decency. Contains criticism of friendly countries. Attacks religions, communities. Contains obscene, defamatory, false statements. Encourages or incites violence or anything that is likely to encourage anti- national attitudes. - Contains anything which is a contempt of court. - Contains aspersions against the President or the Judiciary, integrity of the nation. The code also lays down the following rules: - All adult programmes must be carried only after 11.00 pm and before 6.00 a.m. - Programmes for children should be aired at a time when the largest numbers of children are viewing. The following advertisements are prohibited - Which abuse a race, colour, caste, creed, nationality. - Is against Constitution of India. - Incites people to crime, cause disorder, or is obscene. - Encourages criminality. - Exploits the national emblem or any part of the Constitution. - Depiction of women in a derogatory manner. - Exploiting social evils like dowry, child marriage. - Advertisements that are of a political nature. Criticises or maligns a person, or group or social, public or moral life in the country. Encourages superstition. Offends women through depiction which is indecent and is likely to corrupt public morality. Offends children. Is against the Cinematograph Act.

Such programmes for children should not contain bad language, explicit scenes of violence. Programmes showing women should depict her in a positive leadership role.

Advertisements of goods that suffer from a defect of deficiency. Advertisements those are loud. Endanger the safety of children or are derogatory, like showing them begging. Indecent, vulgar, repulsive, offensive themes and treatment. Advertisements that violate the Standards of Practice for advertising agencies.

What happens in the event of contravention Any person who does not follow these laws can be punished with an imprisonment from two to five years or then a fine from Rupees One thousand to five thousand. In recent development in the act, government proposed to amend and put the news channels under the surveillance of a nodal agency. Top editors of major television news channels unanimously opposed the proposed amendments to the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act after 26/11 Mumbai attack. Editors are of the view that the amendments are a serious assault on the principles of free media and right to speech and expression. The government proposal for news channels states that in situations deemed nationally important, the channels must get their visuals and footage cleared by a nodal agency. What it means is television channels can no longer cover communal riots and even agitations like the one seen in Rajasthan during the Gujjar Andolan, the editors said. Under the proposed amendments, government officials will have the power to decide whether repeat telecast of a footage is necessary or not, and whether any information is unauthenticated and therefore be blocked. These authorities will also decide whether any phone-in of a reporter and victim or their interviews disturbs public order or are against national interest.


Prasar Bharti (Broadcasting Cooperation of India) Act provides for grant of autonomy to electronic media, namely, AIR and Doordarshan, which was under the Government control before enactment of this law. The Act received the assent of President of India on September, 12, 1990 after being unanimously passed by Parliament. The main aim of the act is that Media should be under the control of the public as distinct from Government. It should be operated by a public statutory corporation or 34

corporations, as the case may be, whose constitution and composition must be such as to ensure their impartiality in political, economic and social matters and on all other public issues.

Functions and Powers of Prasar Bharti Corporation:

The primary duty of the PBC: 1. organise and conduct Public Broadcasting Services; 2. inform, educate & entertain the public and ensure a balanced development of broadcasting on Radio & TV. The PBC will be guided by the following facts: 1. uphold the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution; 2. safeguard the citizens right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international issues, and present a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own; 3. pay special attention to the fields of education and spread literacy, news related to agriculture and rural development, environment, health and family welfare, science and technology; 4. provide adequate coverage to diverse cultures and languages of various regions of the country by broadcasting appropriate programmes; 5. provide adequate coverage to sports and games so as to encourage healthy competition and the spirit of sportsmanship; 6. provide appropriate programmes keeping in view the special needs of the youth; 7. inform and stimulate the national feelings regarding the status and problems of women and pay special attention to the upliftment of women; 8. promotes social justice and combat exploitation, inequality, and evils like untouchability, and advance the welfare of the weaker sections; 9. safeguard the rights of the working classes and advance their welfare; 10. serve the rural and weaker sections of the people and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas; 11. provide suitable programmes keeping in view the special needs of minorities and tribal communities; 12. take special steps to protect the interest of children, the blind, the aged, handicapped, and other vunerable sections of the people; 13. promote national integration by broadcasting in a manner that promotes communication in the languages of India and facilitate the distribution of regional broadcasting services in every state; 14. provide comprehensive broadcast coverage through the choice of appropriate technology and the best utilization of the broadcast frequencies available and ensure high quality reception; 15. promote research and development activities in order to ensure that Radio and TV broadcast technology are constantly updated; 16. expand broadcasting facilities by establishing additional channels of transmission at various levels; 17. ensure that broadcasting is conducted as a Public Service to provide and produce programmes; 18. establish a system for gathering of views; 19. negotiate for purchase of programmes and rights of privileges of sports and others programmes, films, serials, occasions, meetings, functions or incidents of public interest for broadcasting and establish producers for the allocation of such programmes; 20. establish and maintain library of Radio & TV; 21. conduct or commission audience research; 22. the Central Govt. has the power to determine the maximum limit of broadcast time regarding advertisements; 23. the PBC shall be subject to no civil liability on the grounds that it fails to comply with any of these provisions; 24. it has the power to determine and levy fees and other service charges regarding advertisements and programmes but it should not exceed the limits fixed by the Central Govt. from time to time.


Parliamentary Committee: consisting of 22 members of Parliament of whom 15 from the Lok

Sabha and 7 from the Rajya Sabha to be elected by members will be constituted to oversee that the PBC discharges its functions in accordance with the of the provisions of the Act. This committee will function according to the rules made by the Lok Sabha speaker.

Broadcast Council: consisting of a President and 10 members to be appointed by the President of

India comprising eminent people in public life. This Council will receive and consider complaints received from various quarters. 4 members of Parliament 2 from Lok Sabha and 2 from Rajya Sabha as nominated by the Chairman will be members of the Broadcast Council. Jurisdiction & Powers of Broadcast Council: - it shall receive complaints from any person or group of persons in specific cases where the Corporation is not working in accordance with its prescribed objectives. - it will advise executive members to take appropriate action - if the executive member is unable to accept the recommendation of the Broadcasting Council, he shall place such recommendation before the PBC Board. If the Board is also unable to accept the recommendation of the Council, it will record it reasons and inform the Broadcast Council. - the Broadcast Council may record in writing and inform about the complaint.

Powers of Central Government

to give directions to the PBC: The Central Govt. can issue directives to the Board in the interest of the sovreignity, integrity, and unity of India or the security of the State, or the preservation of public order. A copy of every direction, issued by the Govt. shall be laid before each house of Parliament to obtain Information: The Central Govt. may require the corporation to furnish information it may find necessary. On recommendation of the Parliament, the President may, by notification, supersede the Board for a period not exceeding 6 months (period will be specified in the notice). Before issuing such notification, the President shall give a reasonable opportunity to the Board to show cause as to why it should not be superseded after taking the final decision, the President shall consider all explanations and objections given to him/her. After such a notification is issued, all the members from the date of suppression vacate their offices, or their powers will be taken away, and on the expiration of the period of super cession, the President may reconstitute the Board by fresh appointments, and those who vacated the office after super cession will not be disqualified for reappointment. Every rule and every regulation made under this Act shall be laid in Parliament as soon as they are made.

PRASAR BHARATI ACT 1990 a regulation aimed to give autonomy to the Public Broadcasting
System, was introduced in December 1989, passed in September 1990, and notified in 1997. Its assets of Rs.550 billion were transferred to Prasar Bharati Board. Its aim was autonomy with accountability. It is a statutory body (by govt. act) unlike the Election Commission which is a Constitutional Body (mentioned in the Constitution). The need for an autonomous public broadcast system was first felt in 1977 soon after the emergency. B.G. Varghese Committee recommended in its findings the establishment of an autonomous PBS in India against the backdrop of gross misuse of DD and AIR during the days of emergency. The Lok Sabha admitted the Prasar Bharati Bill in May 1979, but following the return of the Congress to power, it was put into cold storage. Following an election campaign in which DD was used for crude propaganda, the VP Singh Govt. passed the Act. The Act received Presidential accent in September 1990. It was again consigned to the bin by the Narasimha Rao Govt. which came to power in 1991. The rulers of that time felt that the arrival of private satellite broadcasting had rendered State broadcasting redundant. The future of DD, it was suggested, lay in privatization, not autonomy. However, the notification of the Act in 1997 marked a key moment for the emergence of television not addressing middle class consumers but a real mass audience, because the PBCs primary duty was to organise and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public. Apart from safeguarding the citizens 36

right to be informed freely, truthfully, and objectively, on all matters of public interest, the PBC would have a special commitment as a PSB. This would include paying special attention to fields that commercial broadcasters may ignore (e.g. education, agriculture, rural development, womens empowerment, traditional arts, health and family welfare, etc). The PBC would also have to meet the needs of regional audiences, minorities and the STs & SCs of Indias. The Prasar Bharati Act gives a kind of activist agenda to Prasar Bharati mandating it among other things, promotion of social justice, combat of evils of untouchability, work for safeguarding the rights of the working classes, and stimulate national awareness on the status and problems of women. The creation of a 22-member Parliamentary Committee was to oversee the performance of the PBC in accordance with the rules and regulations and in letter and spirit of the Act. It envisages Parliamentary accountability without Government intervention. The Prasar Bharati Act vests the PBS with special responsibilities and purpose. If Indian Mass Media is to play a meaningful role in building an egalitarian democratic society, pubic broadcasting that addresses the needs of an audience (which finds it difficult to get two square meals to meet) is very important. The Prasar Bharati Act in principle aims at exactly this.

Information Technology Act, 2000 // 4.3

The IT Amendment Bill 2008 has been passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha in the last week of December, 2008. The said Bill aims to make sweeping changes in the existing Indian cyber law, namely the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Information Technology Act, 2000 is Indias mother legislation regulating the use of computers, computer systems and computer networks as also data and information in the electronic format. The said legislation has provided for the legality of the electronic format as well as electronic contracts. This legislation has touched varied aspects pertaining to electronic authentication, digital signatures, cybercrimes and liability of network service providers. From 17th October, 2000 , when the IT Act, 2000 came into implementation till date, the said legislation has seen some very interesting cases and challenges, being brought within its ambit. As time passed by, the inadequacies of the said legislation came to the forefront. There were various practical difficulties in the implementation of the said legislation. The inadequacy of the IT Act, 2000 to address some of the emerging phenomena, challenges and cybercrimes, led to voices clamouring for change in the Indian cyber law.





(AMENDMENT) 2008: Given the magnitude of the amendments, it is

indeed strange and amazing that this Bill was passed in an unprecedented hurry, without any discussion in both the houses of the Parliament in the last week of December, 2008. Issues related to confidential information and data of corporations and their adequate protection have not been adequately addressed. The said law is not a comprehensive law on data protection or on digital secrets. Having a couple of sections on data protection does not serve the requirements of corporate India. India has neither learnt from America's or the European Union's experiences in the area of data protection. The proposed provisions will not aid victim entities, whose data and information is often misused by their employees or their agents with impunity. The IT Act amendments are also deficient in the sense that they do not create rebuttable presumptions of confidentiality of trade secrets and information. A large number of companies and individuals today save their confidential data, information and trade secrets in the electronic form on their computers. Given the apparent increase in the adoption of technology, it is increasingly being found that despite all precautions, the employees are still going ahead and taking away confidential data from companies. 37

The inability of the law to create enabling presumptions of confidentiality regarding corporate and individual data and information in the electronic form is likely to complicate matters further for Indian companies and netizens. Given the move to make most cyber crimes bailable offences, corporations can forget about being able to get their errant employees, who misuse confidential data and information, behind bars. Absence of an effective remedy for corporations is likely to further erode the confidence of the industry in the new cyber-legal regime. The maximum damage by way of compensation stipulated by the new cyber law amendments is Rs 5 crore. When calculated in dollar terms, this is a small figure and hardly provides any effective relief to corporations, whose confidential information, which might be worth several crores, is stolen or misused by its employees. Another major failure of the proposed amendments is that they have not addressed the issue of spam in a comprehensive manner. The word spam is not even mentioned anywhere in the IT Amendment Bill. India has missed yet another opportunity to deal with the contentious issue. It is pertinent to note that countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated their intention to fight spam by putting in place a dedicated anti-spam legislation. This lacuna is all the more serious since India already features among the top 10 nations in the world from where spam originates. Today, people and organisations are increasingly relying upon electronic evidence and electronic media as a means of communicating with each other and doing business. However, the amendments are completely silent on the issues of electronic discovery. This once again shows up the short-sightedness of those who have designed the amendments. The amendments to the IT Act do not address jurisdictional issues. At a time wheninternet has made geography history, it was hoped that the new amendments would throw light on complicated issues pertaining to jurisdiction. This is because numerous activities on internet take place in different jurisdictions. There is a need to enable Indian authorities to get jurisdiction over data and information impacting India in a more comprehensive manner. The new amendments make it mandatory for corporations possessing, dealing or handling any sensitive personal data or information in a computer resource to maintain reasonable security practices and procedures. However, what these "reasonable security practices and procedures" would be is anybody's guess. It has to be pointed out that one set of security practices will not fit the entire nation. What would be reasonable security practices for one industry may not be applicable to another industry. Not maintaining such security practices would expose corporations to civil liability and they would have to cough up compensation to the affected person to the tune of Rs 5 crore. IT Act 2000 deals with 4 aspects: (i) legal recognition of electronic documents; (ii) legal recognition of digital signatures; (iii) offences and contraventions; and (iv) justice dispensation system for cyber crimes. IT Act 2000 is the result of the emergence of e-commerce, e-governance, cyber crimes (like hacking, generation of virus, worm attacks, cyber terrorism, credit card frauds, pornography). The UN General Assembly by a resolution dated January 30, 1997 adopted the model law on e-commerce which was earlier adopted by the UN Commission of International Trade Law (UNCITRL). This UN resolution recommended all member nations favourable consideration to the model law when they enact or revise their laws, in view of the need for uniformity of the law applicable to alternatives to paper-based methods of communication and storage of information. So the Ministry of Commerce (Govt. of India), created the first draft of the legislation entitled ECommerce Act 1998. However, after the formation of a separate ministry for Information Technology, 38

the draft was taken over by the new ministry, which redrafted it as IT Bill 1999. The draft was placed in Parliament in December 1999, and passed in May 2000. After the ascent of the President on June 9, 2000, the Act was finally notified with effect from October 17, 2000. A major amendment was made to the Act with effect from February 6, 2003 following the passage of related legislation called Negotiable Instruments Amendment Act 2002. Another Amendment was made in 2008 but has not yet been notified. This Amendment was passed in a hurry on December 22, 2008 along with 8 other Bills in just 17 minutes. The criticism against this Amendment is that it was passed without a thorough debate. IT Act 2000 consists of 94 sections segregated into 13 Chapters. This Act allows unrestricted monitoring of all electronic communication even for non-cognisable offences. Apart from giving a legal framework to e-commerce and e-governance, the Act comes down heavily on cyber crimes. A cyber crime is an unlawful act wherein the computer is either a tool, or a target, or both. Cyber crimes can involve criminal activities that are traditional in nature such as theft, fraud, forgery, defamation, and mischief all of which are subject to the IPC. The abuse of computers has given birth to a wide range of new-age crimes that are addressed by the IT Act 2000. Cyber crimes ca be categorized in two ways: (i) using a computer to attack other computers involves hacking, virus generation, worm attacks, etc.; (ii) using a computer as an instrument to commit real world crimes cyber terrorism, credit card frauds, pornography, etc.

Unauthorised access and hacking: Access means gaining entry into, instructing or
communicating with the logical, mathematical or memory function resources of a computer system / network. Unauthorized access would therefore mean any kind of access without the permission of either the rightful owner or the person in-charge of a computer, computer system or computer network. Ever Act committed towards breaking into computers or a computer network is hacking. Hackers write or use ready-made computer programmes to attack the target computer. They have a desire to destruct the network and gain pleasure from this. Some hackers hack for personal monitory gains such as to steal credit card information, transfer money from various bank accounts, etc.

Web Hijacking: by hacking a web-server and tacking control of another persons website is called

E-mail Spoofing: refers to e-mail that appears to have originated from one source, but which was
actually sent from another. E-mail Bombing: is use of e-mail by abusers by repeatedly sending an identical e-mail message to a particular address.

IT ACT 2000:
Chapter 1: concerns definitions Controller means the controller of certifying authorities appointed under this Act. Cyber Appellate Tribunal is a Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal established under this Act. Digital Signature is the authentication of any electronic record by a subscriber by means of an electronic method or procedure in accordance with this Act. Controller: a Controller is a key figure The Central Govt. by notification to the Official Gazette appoints a Controller of Certifying Authorities for the purpose of this Act. Functions of a Controller (i) supervise activities of certifying authorities; (ii) laying down standards to be maintained by certifying authorities; (iii) Section 19: Recognition of Foreign Certifying Authorities. The Controller may with the previous approval of the Central Govt. and by notification in an official gazette recognise any foreign certifying authority as a Certifying Authority (one who can issue digital signature certificates). 39

Section 25: The Controller if satisfied after making proper enquiry may suspend the licence of a Certifying Authority. Section 29: Access to computers and data the Controller, or any person authorized by him, has access to any computer system, any apparatus, data or any other matter connected with such system for the purpose of searching or causing a search to be made for obtaining any information or data contained in or available to such a computer system; if s/he has reasonable cause to suspect any violation of the Act. Section 43: Penalties and Adjudication deals with penalties for damage to computer and computer systems. If any person, without the permission of the owner or the one in-charge of a computer, tries to make access to a computer system, s/he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation not exceeding Rs.1 crore to the person so affected [a] if the person accesses or secures access to the computer, computer system or computer network; [b] downloads, copies, or extracts any data, computer database or information from a computer, computer network including information or data held or stored in removable storage medium. Section 48: Establishment of Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal is by the Central Govt. Section 49: a CRA Tribunal shall consist of only one person designated as the Presiding Officer. Section 50: Qualification for appointment of such officers: (i) Presiding Officer can be a judge of a High Court, or a member or Indian Legal Service, or a person who held/holds a post in Grade I of Indian Legal Service at least for 3 years. Section 57: deals with Appeals to Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal any person who is aggrieved by an order made by Controller or an Adjudicating Officer under this Act can file an appeal to the Tribunal. Section 61: Civil Courts have no jurisdiction in Cyber Crimes. Section 62: Right to Appeal to High Court any person aggrieved by any decision or order of the CRA Tribunal may file an appeal to the High Court within 60 days from the date of communication of the decision. Section 65: tampering with computer source documents any person knowingly or intentionally conceals, destroys, or alters any computer source code used for a computer programme, computer system, or network, shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years or with a fine which may extend up to Rs.2 lakh or both. Section 66: Hacking with Computer System any person with the intent to cause wrongful laws or damage to the public or destroys or deletes information residing in the computer resource shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years with a fine which may extend up to Rs.2 lakh or both. Section 67: Publishing of Information which is Obscene in Electronic form first conviction: imprisonment upto 5 years with fine for Rs.1 lakh, and second conviction is imprisonment for 10 years with a fine of Rs.2 lakhs. Section 71: Penalty for Misrepresentation imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of Rs.1 lakh or both. Section 72: Breach of Confidentiality or Privacy imprisonment for 2 years or a fine of Rs.1 lakh or both. Section 87: Central Governments power to make rules from time to time according to the need and requirements Section 89: Powers to Controller to make Regulations in consultation with Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee. Section 90: Powers to State Governments to make Rules. Section 91: Power to Amend Indian Penal Code. Section 92: Amendment of Indian Evidence Act 1872. Section 93: Amendments of the banker Books Evidence Act 1891. Section 94: Amendment of the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934.






Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India notified the Guidelines for uplinking from India in July 2000. The Government has further amended these guidelines on 20th October 2005. It has now been decided that all these guidelines should be consolidated into one set of guidelines and notified. Accordingly, in supersession of all previous guidelines, the Government hereby notifies the following consolidated uplinking guidelines. These came into effect 2nd December 2005 and are applicable to all channels.

ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS AND FEE - The applicant seeking permission to set up an uplinking hub/ teleport or uplink a TV Channel or uplink facility by a News Agency should be a company registered in India under the Companies Act, 1956. --- In the applicant company, the foreign equity holding including NRI/OCB/PIO should not exceed 49%. ---The Company should have a minimum Net Worth as prescribed below: Item Teleport for single channel capacity Teleport for 6 channel capacity Teleport for 10 channel capacity Teleport for 15 channel capacity Required Net Worth Rs. 1.00 Crore Rs. 1.50 Crore Rs. 2.50 Crore Rs. 3.00 Crore

Permission is granted for the period of ten years. The fee for the application is ten thousand rupees. If Ministry find the applicant eligible the applicant company shall pay a permission fee at the rate of Rs. Five Lakhs per teleport.

SPECIAL CONDITIONS/ OBLIGATIONS: The company shall uplink only those TV channels which are
specifically approved or permitted by the Ministry of I&B for uplinking from India. - The company shall stop uplinking TV channels whenever permission/approval to such a channel is withdrawn by the Ministry of I&B. Ministry of Information and broadcasting has laid down different rules and regulations for different users for uplinking. It has different criteria with same basic fundamentals for news agency, Non news channels and news channels. - The applicant company shall abide by the general terms and conditions laid down by the ministry.


The company can uplink either in C or Ku Band. Uplinking in C Band would be permitted both to Indian as well as foreign satellites. However, proposals envisaging use of Indian satellites will be accorded preferential treatment. On the other hand, uplinking in Ku Band would be permitted through Indian satellite only, subject to the condition that this permission is not used to run/ operate DTH service without proper license, to which separate guidelines apply. Satellite to be used should have been coordinated with Insat System. The company shall comply with the Programme & Advertising Codes, as laid down in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Rules framed there under. The company shall keep record of the content uplinked for a period of 90 days and produce the same before any agency of the Government, as and when required. The company shall furnish such information, as may be required by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, from time to time. The company/channel shall provide for the necessary monitoring facility, at its own cost, for monitoring of programmes or content by the representatives of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting or any other Government agency as and when so required.


The company shall permit the Government agencies to inspect the facilities as and when required. The company shall comply with the terms and conditions of Wireless Operational Licence to be issued by the WPC Wing, Ministry of Communications & IT. The Company shall ensure its continued eligibility as applicable through out the period of permission and adhere to all the terms and conditions of the permission, failing which the company shall be liable for penalty. The Government of India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting shall have the right to suspend the permission of the company for a specified period in public interest or in the interest of national security to prevent its misuse. The company shall immediately comply with any directives issued in this regard. It will be obligatory on the part of the company to take prior permission from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting before effecting any change in the CEO/ Board of Directors.


The much awaited and debated Bill, The Communication Convergence Bill, is on the verge of being enacted and changing the Indian communication machinery in an unprecedented fashion. The Bill primarily intends to promote and develop the entire communications sector, in the scenario of increasing convergence of technologies. Thus India hopes to become the second country in the globe to have a legislation regarding convergence. The Bill will replace five existing laws namely -The Indian Telegraph Act-1885, Cable TV Networks Act 1995, Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act-1933, The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act 1950 and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997.

Rationale behind the Bill

The development of national infrastructure for an information based society, and to enable access thereto; - To provide a choice of services to the people with a view to promoting plurality of news, views and information; - To establish a regulatory framework for carriage and content of communication - To establish of a single regulatory and licensing authority with defined powers, procedures and functions and an Appellate Tribunal. To put it in a nutshell, the Bill facilitates multi-operations and a service provider may provide a consolidated service in basic telecom, cellular telecom, internet and satellite television without procuring different licenses. Presently, the absence of a single window clearance for these services, make it cumbersome for companies advent into and provide all these services simultaneously. The manner in which the Convergence Bill seeks to remedy these difficulties is captured in this article.

Salient Features - The Bill contemplates the establishment of an autonomous body to be called the
Communication Commission of India (CCI), entrusted with wide-ranging functions, duties and powers. The Commission shall be constitute of 9 individuals comprising of a Chairperson, seven members and the Spectrum Manager, as ex-officio member, The Chairperson and Members (except the ex-officio Member) shall be appointed by the Central Government. The Chairperson and whole-time Members shall hold office for a term of five years and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

Hearing of complaints and resolution of disputes by the Commission- The

Commission shall decide any dispute between two or more service providers on issues relating to spectrum interference, interconnectivity, denial of fair access and restrictive practices and between a 42

service provider and a group of consumers. It will also look into any dispute arising out of enforcement of any provision of the Act.

Spectrum Management Committee- The Central Government shall create a Spectrum

Management Committee for coordination with international agencies for Spectrum Management and also for allocation of available spectrum for strategic and non-strategic/commercial purposes. The functions would inter alia include - Co-ordinating with international agencies on matters relating to overall spectrum planning, use and its management; - Carry out spectrum planning, and assign frequencies to the Central Government and to State Governments to meet their vital needs. - Allocate frequencies or band of frequencies including frequencies which are to be assigned by the Commission; and re-assignment of frequencies from time to time. - Constantly review and make available as much spectrum as possible and also optimize usages - Monitoring, in consultation with the Commission, the efficiency of the utilization of the spectrum by all users including investigation and resolution of spectrum interference. - After meeting the requirements of the Central Government and of State Governments, the Spectrum Manager shall make the spectrum available for assignment by the Commission, both in the shared as well as in the exclusive bands.

Licenses For Communication Services And Network Infrastructure Facilities- The

CCI will try to uphold public interest by ensuring competition and prevention of monopolies while issuing licenses for providing communication services. The commission will also stipulate the eligibility conditions for such licenses. The Commission may grant license to any person: - To provide or own network infrastructure facilities, (which includes include Earth Stations, Cable infrastructure, Wireless Equipment, Towers, poles, ducts and pits used in conjunction with other communication infrastructure. - To provide networking services - To provide network applications services, - To provide content application services

Breach of terms and conditions of Licenses, Penalties and Adjudication: - When the
terms of the license are breached, or when the licensee fails to comply with any decision, direction or order of the Commission, the Commission may, take appropriate measures including an order to do or abstain from doing something, suspension of the license for a specific period or restrict the same or seize of the equipment being used for providing such service.

The Adjudication Officer- An Adjudication officer shall be appointed by the CCI to find out
whether any person has committed guilty of contravention of any of the applicable provisions and is liable to a penalty which shall be quantified, bearing in mind a. the amount of revenue loss to the Government; b. the amount of disproportionate gain or unfair advantage, wherever quantifiable, made as a result of the default; c. the amount of loss caused to any person as a result of the default; d. the repetitive nature of the default; e. that the amount of the penalty shall be such as may act as a deterrent even though no financial loss may be caused by such contravention.

Communications Appellate Tribunal- The Bill also provides for the setting up of
a COMMUNICATIONS APPELLATE TRIBUNAL so that any person aggrieved by the decision of the CCI shall prefer an appeal. An appeal shall be filed against the decision of CCI or of the Adjudicating 43

Officer may be filled within 60 says of the decision. The appellate tribunal shall consist of a chairperson and not more than 6 members. The Appellate Tribunal shall have, for the purpose of discharging its functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 while trying a suit. An appeal shall lie against any order, passed by the Appellate Tribunal to the Supreme Court of India on one or more of the grounds specified in section 100 of the Civil Procedure Code. The time period is 90 days from the date of the decision appealed against.

Shortcomings of the Bill- In zeal of becoming the second country in the world to have a
Communication Convergence Law the Indian Government, introduced the Convergence Bill in very hasty manner. The Bill provides for the setting up of a super-regulator, the CCI, which is supposed to be an autonomous body and claims to be a truly independent body in every sense. But a mere perusal of the Bill would belie this claim. Right from the process of appointing the CCI members, the government would hold its control. If one reads the Bill carefully he can discover that at the end of each and every clause the government has retained the right to interfere. The government is even having the power to exempt anybody from licensing and going by the earlier instances in similar situations one can assume that the government will sideline the CCI. Undoubtedly this will make a mockery of CCI's autonomy. The Bill states that the CCI has to follow all the policy directives of the government. This will amply prove that the government is not at all sincere to grant any real autonomy to the CCI. Under the pretext of giving policy directives the government can run its writ and thereby effectively bulldoze the CCI.

A Problem Regarding Spectrum Management- The Government is vested with wide powers
relating to Spectrum Management. The Government is the supervening and absolute power for determining the Spectrum it needs for defence / other essential needs. But once this is determined the rest should be allocated to the industry in a fair manner. The Cabinet Secretary will head the Spectrum Management Committee envisaged under the Bill, and the CCI will only have a secondary role to play here. This dual authority on spectrum can be problematic and make CCI submissive to the Spectrum Management Committee. Many experts contend that the CCI is better equipped to balance the spectrum requirements of the industry and government. It is of paramount importance that the allocation of spectrum is efficiently managed as this allocation is linked to the development of the Industry. The appointment of the Secretary General of the CCI should be from an open pool of competent persons as against from a panel of government secretaries proposed by the Bill. This will certainly bring a sense of professionalism and competitiveness. The Bill is also unclear on jurisdictional aspects of the CCI and the adjudicating officer.

CONCLUSION - Thus after going through the proposed Bill on convergence it can be concluded that the
autonomy of the CCI, which is fundamental to the plan and which the Bill's proponents are relying on, is a mere publicity stunt. The Bill requires a scrutiny by experts in a detailed manner. If the Bill is passed in its present form then there will be a flurry of lawsuits and as a lawyer dealing with convergence issues. But considering the larger interests the Bill should be studied in detail and steps should be taken to empower the CCI with real autonomy.


MEDIA ETHICS is the subdivision of applied ethics dealing with the specific ethical principles and standards of media, including broadcast media, film, theatre, the arts, print media and the internet. JOURNALISM ETHICS AND STANDARDS comprise principles of ethics and of good practice as applicable to the specific challenges faced by professional journalists. Historically and currently, this subset of media ethics is 44

widely known to journalists as their professional "CODE OF ETHICS" OR THE "CANONS OF JOURNALISM ." The basic codes and canons commonly appear in statements drafted by professional journalism associations and individual print, broadcast, and online news organizations. - While various existing codes have some differences, most share common elements including the principles of - truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability - as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public. - Like many broader ethical systems, journalism ethics include the principle of "LIMITATION OF HARM." This often involves the withholding of certain details from reports such as the names of minor children, crime victims' names or information not materially related to particular news reports release of which might, for example, harm someone's reputation.


Codes of ethics for journalists began to be formulated since the early 1920-s. Today, more than 60 countries around the world have drawn up and are enforcing such codes. Of course, they vary in form and scope from one country or region to another. In some countries, the codes have been voluntarily drawn up and are imposed by professional bodies of journalists; in others, they are imposed by the governments in power. Several states enforce such codes which speak of such highminded principles as objectivity, impartiality, truthfulness, and freedom of information. While journalists in the United States and European countries have led in formulation and adoption of these standards, such codes can be found in news reporting organizations in most countries with freedom of the press. One of the leading voices in the U.S. on the subject of Journalistic Standards and Ethics is the Society of Professional Journalists. The Preamble to its Code of Ethics states:

...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. THE MACBRIDE REPORT states that all journalists have responsibilities to their own convictions, but equally important are their responsibilities to the public. The Report spells out journalists responsibilities: a. Contractual responsibility in relation to their media and their internal organization b. A social responsibility entailing obligations towards public opinion and society as a whole c. Responsibility or liability deriving from the obligation to comply with the law d. Responsibility towards the international community, relating to respect for human rights.


a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. Respect for the truth and accurate informing of public are the overriding principles of GPC. News and information accepted for publication or picturing photographs must be checked for accuracy with all thoroughness circumstances permit. Its meaning must not be distorted or falsified. The contents must be faithfully reproduced. Unconfirmed facts, rumours must be avoided. Published items subsequently found to be incorrect must be promptly and appropriately corrected by the publication Dishonest methods must not be employed to gather news, information or pictures As a general principles confidentiality of agreed at briefings and background interviews must be observed The press shall respect the private life and personal sphere of the individual. If a persons private life or behaviour touches on public life however, it may be discussed in the press. In such cases utmost care must be taken to ensure that publication does not violate the personal rights of individuals who are not involved It is contrary to journalistic decorum to publish unfounded allegations especially allegations of defamatory nature The publication of texts or pictures whose form or contents who deeply offend the moral or religious sensibilities of a particular groups or persons is not in tune with press responsibility




OBJECTIVITY: Unequivocal separation between news and opinion. Editorials and op-eds are clearly separated from news pieces.
News reporters and editorial staff are distinct.

Unequivocal separation between advertisements and news. All advertisements must be clearly identifiable as such. Reporter must avoid conflicts of interestsincentives to report a story with a given slant. This includes not
taking bribes and not reporting on stories that affect the reporter's personal, economic or political interests. See envelope journalism. Competing points of view are balanced and fairly characterized. Persons who are the subject of adverse news stories are allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond to the adverse information before the story is published or broadcast. Interference with reporting by any entity, including censorship, must be disclosed.

Confidentiality of anonymous sources Avoidance of anonymous sources if possible. Accurate attribution of statements made by individuals or other news media. Pictures sound, and quotations must not be presented in a misleading context (or lack thereof). Simulations, reenactments, alterations, and artistic imaginings must be clearly labelled as such, if not avoided entirely. Plagiarism is strongly stigmatized and in many cases illegal.


Reporters are expected to be as accurate as possible given the time allotted to story preparation and the space available, and to seek reliable sources. Events with a single eyewitness are reported with attribution. Events with two or more independent eyewitnesses may be reported as fact. Controversial facts are reported with attribution. Independent fact-checking by another employee of the publisher is desirable Corrections are published when errors are discovered Defendants at trial are treated only as having "allegedly" committed crimes, until conviction, when their crimes are generally reported as fact (unless, that is, there is serious controversy about wrongful conviction). Opinion surveys and statistical information deserve special treatment to communicate in precise terms any conclusions, to contextualize the results, and to specify accuracy, including estimated error and methodological criticism or flaws.


Reporting the truth is never libel, which makes accuracy very important. Private persons have privacy rights that must be balanced against the public interest in reporting information about them. Public figures have fewer privacy rights in U.S. law, where reporters are immune from a civil case if they have reported without malice. In Canada, there is no such immunity; reports on public figures must be backed by facts. Publishers vigorously defend libel lawsuits filed against their reporters, usually covered by libel insurance.


During the normal course of an assignment a reporter might go about -- gathering facts and details, conducting interviews, doing research, background checks, taking photos, video taping, recording sound -- harm limitation deals with the questions of whether everything learned should be reported, and if so, how. This principle of limitation means that some weight needs to be given to the negative consequences of full disclosure, creating a practical and ethical dilemma. The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics offers the following advice, which is representative of the practical ideals of most professional journalists: Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects. Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief. Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance. Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone's privacy. Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity. Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes. Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges. Balance a criminal suspect's fair trial rights with the public's right to be informed.



Ethical standards should not be confused with common standards of quality of presentation, including: Correctly spoken or written language (often in a widely spoken and formal dialect, such as Standard English) There should be clarity in the presentation of the news Brevity (or depth, depending on the niche of the publisher)

SELF-REGULATION: In addition to codes of ethics, many news organizations maintain an in-house Ombudsman whose role
is, in part, to keep news organizations honest and accountable to the public. The ombudsman is intended to mediate in conflicts stemming from internal and or external pressures, to maintain accountability to the public for news reported, and to foster self-criticism and to encourage adherence to both codified and uncodified ethics and standards. This position may be the same or similar to the public editor, though public editors also act as a liaison with readers and do not generally become members of the Organisation of News Ombudsmen. An alternative is a news council, an industry-wide self-regulation body, such as the Press Complaints Commission, set up by UK newspapers and magazines. Such a body is capable perhaps of applying fairly consistent standards, and of dealing with a higher volume of complaints, but may not escape criticisms of being toothless.


MANIPULATION: News can manipulate and be manipulated. Governments and corporations may attempt to manipulate news media; governments, for example, by censorship, and corporations by share ownership. The methods of manipulation are subtle and many. Manipulation may be voluntary or involuntary. Those being manipulated may not be aware of this. Journalists must ensure that news is not manipulated.


AND REPUTATION: Among the leading news organizations that voluntarily adopt and attempt to uphold the common standards of journalism ethics described herein, adherence and general quality varies considerably. The professionalism, reliability and public accountability of a news organization are three of its most valuable assets. An organization earns and maintains a strong reputation, in part, through a consistent implementation of ethical standards, which influence its position with the public and within the industry.

TRUTH: Public interest. Revelation of military secrets and other sensitive government information may be contrary to the public
interest, even if it is true. The definition of public interest is hard. Privacy. Salacious details of the lives of public figures are a central content element in many media. Publication is not necessarily justified simply because the information is true. Privacy is also a right, and one which conflicts with free speech. See: paparazzi. Fantasy. Fantasy is an element of entertainment, which is a legitimate goal of media content. Journalism may mix fantasy and truth, with resulting ethical dilemmas. Taste. Photo journalists who cover war and disasters confront situations which may shock the sensitivities of their audiences. For example, human remains are rarely screened. The ethical issue is how far one risk shocking an audiences sensitivities in order to correctly should and fully reports the truth.

CONFLICT WITH THE LAW: Journalistic ethics may conflict with the law over issues such as the protection of confidential
news sources. There is also the question of the extent to which it is ethically acceptable to break the law in order to obtain news. For example, undercover reporters may be engaging in deception, trespass and similar torts and crimes. See undercover journalism, investigative journalism.



Audiences/readers have different reactions to depictions of violence, nudity, coarse language, or to people in any other situation that is unacceptable to or stigmatized by the local culture or laws (such as the consumption of alcohol, homosexuality, illegal drug use, scatological images, etc.). Even with similar audiences, different organizations and even individual reporters have different standards and practices. These decisions often revolve around what facts are necessary for the audience to know.
IN THE MEDIA: Many print publications take advantage of their wide readership and print persuasive pieces in the form of unsigned editorials that represent the official position of the organization. Despite the ostensible separation between editorial writing and news gathering, this practice may cause some people to doubt the political objectivity of the publication's news reporting.



Other publications and many broadcast media only publish opinion pieces that are attributed to a particular individual (who may be an in-house analyst) or to an outside entity. One particularly controversial question is whether media organizations should endorse political candidates for office. Political endorsements create more opportunities to construe favouritism in reporting, and can create a perceived conflict of interest.


METHODS: Investigative journalism is largely an information-gathering exercise, looking for facts that are not easy to obtain by simple requests and searches, or are actively being concealed, suppressed or distorted. Where investigative work involves undercover journalism or use of whistleblowers, and even more if it resorts to covert methods more typical of private detectives or even spying, it brings a large extra burden on ethical standards.

SENSATIONALISM: Sensationalism is the major factor that lowering journalistic standards. The media professional must
address this question while reporting/presenting news events. They must also see that the presentation of sensational story does not exceed the proportion of the meaningful items in the media. If journalists regard media as being eroded by sensationalism, media values that may be affected are honesty, objectivity, priority, commitment to action, secularism, freedom of reporting and reality.

DEMOCRATIC VALUES: The mass media function as watchdog and critics of the government. Media functioning has also
been recognised as more effective in a democratic polity that offers scope for diverse opinions and views. Democratic values in communication encourage free and fair dialogue. Political communication in the mass media influences political theorising as well as shifts in though and opinion. In fact, many political parties have their press and disseminate ideas through newspapers and publications. Therefore, journalists in democratic country like India must work towards ensuring pluralism of voices and opinion.

PRESS COUNCIL ACT [1978] // 5.2

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 newspaper and news agencies in India. It extends to the whole of India. Under the Press Council Act, the Council by the name Press Council of India has been established w.e.f 1st March 1979. The Council is a body corporate having perpetual succession. The Council consist of Chairman and 28 other members. Section 13 of the Press Council Acts lays down the objects and functions of the Council. The important functions of the Council are:
To help newspaper 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 development such as concentration of or other aspects of ownership of newspapers and news agencies which may affect 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.


AND ETHICS: The fundamental objective of journalism is to serve the people with news, views comments and information on matters of public interest in a fair, accurate, unbiased, sober and decent manner. Towards this end, the Press is expected to conduct itself in keeping with certain norms of professionalism universally recognised. The norms


enunciated below and other specific guidelines appended thereafter, when applied with due discernment and adaptation to the varying circumstances of each case, will help the journalist to self-regulate his/her conduct.


AND FAIRNESS : The Press shall eschew publication of inaccurate, baseless, graceless, misleading or distorted material. All sides of the core issue or subject should be reported. Unjustified rumours and surmises should not be set forth as facts.

2. PRE-PUBLICATION VERIFICATION: On receipt of a report or article of public interest and benefit containing imputations
or comments against a citizen, the editor should check with due care and attention its factual accuracy apart from other authentic sources- with the person or the organisation concerned to elicit his/her or its version, comments or reaction and publish the same alongside with due correction in the report where necessary. In the event of lack of absence of response, a footnote to that effect may be appended to the report.


AGAINST DEFAMATORY WRITINGS : 1) Newspaper should not publish anything which is manifestly defamatory or libellous against any individual/organisation unless after due care and verification, there is sufficient reason/evidence to believe that it is true and its publication will be for public good.

2) Truth is no defence for publishing derogatory, scurrilous and defamatory material against a private citizen where no public interest is involved. 3) No personal remarks which may be considered or construed to be derogatory in nature against a dead person should be published except in rare case of public interest, as the dead person cannot possibly contradict or deny those remarks. 4) The Press has a duty, discretion and right to serve the public interest by drawing readers attention to citizens of doubtful antecedents and of questionable character but as responsible journalists they should observe due restraint and caution in hazarding their own opinion or conclusion in branding these persons as cheats or killers etc. the cardinal principle being that the quilt of a person should be established by proof of facts alleged and not by proof of the bad character of the accused. In the zest to expose, the Press should not exceed the limits of ethical caution and fair comment. 5) The Press shall not rely on objectionable past behaviour of a citizen to provide the background for adverse comments with reference to fresh action of that person. If public good requires such reference, the Press should make pre-publication inquiries from the authorities concerned about the follow up action, if any in regard to earlier adverse actions. 6) Where the impugned publication is manifestly injurious to the reputation of the complainant, the onus shall be on the respondent to show that it was true or to establish that it constituted fair comment made in good faith and for public good. 7) Newspapers cannot claim privilege or licence to malign a person or body claiming special protection or immunity on the plea of having published the item as satire under special column such as gossip, parody. Etc. 8) Publication of defamatory news by one paper does not give licence to others to publish news/information reproducing ore repeating the same. 10) Insertion of out-of-context, uncalled for and irrelevant statements likely to malign a person or an organisation must be eschewed. 11) Freedom of Press does not give licence to a newspaper to malign a political leader or mar his future political prospects by publishing fake and defamatory writings. 12) Public Interest and Public Bodies: As a custodian public interest, the Press has a right to highlight case of corruption and irregularities in public bodies but such material should be on irrefutable evidence and published after due inquiries and verification from the concerted source and after obtaining the version of the person/authority being commented upon. Newspapers should refrain from barbed, stinging and pungent language/satirical style of comment.

So far as the government, local authority and other organs/institutions exercising governmental power are concerned, they cannot bring charge of defamation for reports critical of their acts and conduct relevant to the discharge of their official duties unless the official establishes that the publication was made with reckless disregard for truth. However, judiciary, which is protected by the power to punish for contempt of court, and the Parliament and legislatures,


protected as their privileges are by Articles 105 and 194 respectively of the Constitution of India, represent exception to this rule. The central and local bodies are not entitled to bring a civil or criminal action for defamation in respect of articles / report criticising their functioning. Publication of news or comments/information on public officials investigations should not have a tendency to help the commission of offences or to impede the prevention or detection of offences or prosecution of the guilty. The investigative agency is also under a corresponding obligation not to leak out or disclose such information or indulge in misinformation. The Official Secret Act. 1923 or any other similar enactment or provision having the force of law equally bind the press or media though there is no law empowering the state or its officials to prohibit, or to impose a prior restraint upon the press/media. Those who hold public office and by their own conduct give scope for criticising them, cannot be heard to complain against such criticism.


OF PUBLIC FIGURES/MUSIC REVIEWS: An actor or singer who appears on a public stage submits his performance to the judgement of public and as such the critics comments having proximate nexus with the merits of artists performance cannot be defamatory. However, the critics should refrain from writing anything, which could be construed as remotely casting cloud on the artists personal credibility.

6. RIGHT TO PRIVACY The Press shall not intrude or invade the privacy of an individual, unless outweighed by genuine overriding public
interest, not being a prurient or morbid curiosity. So, however, that once a matter becomes a matter of public record, the right, the right to privacy no longer subsist and it becomes a legitimate subject for comment by the Press and the media, among others. EXPLANATION: - Things concerning a persons home, family, religion, health, sexuality, personal life and private affairs are covered by the concept of Privacy excepting where any of these impinges upon the public or public interest. Caution against identification- While reporting crime involving rape, abduction or kidnap of women/females or sexual assault on children, or raising doubts and questions touching the chastity, personal character and privacy of women, the names, photographs of the victims or other particulars leasing to their identity shall not be published. Minor children and infants who are the offspring of sexual abuse or forcible marriage or illicit sexual union shall not be identified or photographed


Right to Privacy is an inviolable human right. However, the degree of privacy differs from person to person and from situation to situation. The public person who functions under public gaze as an emissary/ representative of the public cannot expect to be afforded the same degree of privacy of a person. His acts and conduct as are of public interest (public interest being distinct and separate from of interest to public even if conducted in private may be brought to public knowledge through the medium of the press. The press has however, a corresponding duty to ensure that the information about such acts and conduct of public interest of the public person is obtained through fair means, is properly verified and then reported accurately. For obtaining information in respect of acts done or conducted away form public gaze, the press is not expected to use surveillance devices. For obtaining information about private talks and discussion while the press is expected not to badger the public persons, the public person are also expected to bring more openness in their functioning and co-operate with the press in its duty of informing the public about the acts of their representatives. The interviews / articles or arguments pertaining to public person which border on events that are in public knowledge, if reported correctly be termed as intrusion into private life. There is a very thin line between public and private life and public person should not be too skinned to criticism. Newspapers are allowed latitude in criticising persons who are in seats of power because their conduct discloses public interest provided their criticism is not motivated to gratify private spite of opponent/rival of public figure.


The Press shall not tape-record anyones conversation without that persons knowledge or consent, except where all recording is necessary to protect the journalists in a legal action, or for other compelling good reason. The Press shall, prior to publication, delete offensive epithets used by a person whose statements are being reported. Intrusion through photography into moments of personal grief shall be avoided. However, photography of victims or natural calamity may be in larger public interest.



Newspapers should eschew suggestive guild by association. They should not name or identify the family or relatives or associates of a person convicted or accused of a crime, when they are totally innocent and a reference to them is not relevant to the matter being reported. It is contrary to the norms of journalism for a paper to identify itself with and project or promote the case of any one party in the case of any controversy or dispute.


OF LEGISLATURE : The newspapers have a duty to report faithfully the proceedings of either House of Parliament, Legislative Assembly and in this regard the newspapers shall not be liable for any proceedings civil or criminal in any court unless it is proved that reporting have been made with malice. However, the newspapers should not publish any report base on proceedings of a sitting of either House of Parliament or Legislative Assembly or as the case may be either House of the Legislature of a state, which is not open to the media.

11. CAUTION IN CRITICISING JUDICIAL ACTS: a) Excepting where the court sits in camera or directs otherwise, it is open to a newspaper to report pending judicial
proceedings, in a fair, accurate and reasonable manner. But it shall not publish anything which, in its direct and immediate effect, creates a substantial risk of obstructing, impending or prejudicing seriously the due administration of justice, or, --is in the nature of a running commentary, or debate, or records the papers own findings conjectures, reflection or comments on issues, subjudice and which may amount to abrogation to the newspaper the functions of the court. Or ----regarding the personal character of the accused standing trial on a charge of committing a crime. Newspaper shall not as a matter of caution, publish or comment on evidence collected as a result of investigative journalism, when after the accused is arrested and charged, the court becomes seized of the case. Nor should they reveal, comment upon or evaluate a confession allegedly made by the accused. While newspapers may, in the public interest, make reasonable criticism of a judicial act or the judgement of a court for public good; they shall not cast scurrilous aspersion on, or impute improper motives, or personal bias to the judge. Nor shall they scandalise the court or the judiciary as a whole or make personal allegations of lack of ability or integrity against a judge. Newspapers shall as a matter of caution, avoid unfair and unwarranted criticism which, by innuendo, attributes to a judge extraneous consideration for performing an act in due course of his/her judicial functions, even if such criticism does not strictly amount to criminal Contempt of Court. Reporting News pertaining to Court proceedings:- Before publishing a news item about court proceedings, it will be appropriate for the corresponding and editor to ascertain its genuiness and correctness and authenticity from the records so that the concerned person can be held guilty and accountable for furnishing incorrect facts or wrong information about the court proceedings.

12. CORRECTIONS: When factual error, or mistake is detected or confirmed, the newspapers should suo-motu publish the
correction promptly with due prominence and with apology or expression of regrets in a case of serious lapse.


The newspaper should promptly and with due prominence, publish wither in full or with due editing, free of cost at the instance of the person affected or feeling aggrieved or concerned by the impugned publication, a contradiction/reply/clarification or rejoinder sent to the editor in the form of a letter or note. If the editor doubts the truth or factual accuracy of the contradiction/reply/clarification or rejoinder, he shall be at liberty to add separately at the end, a brief editorial comment doubting its veracity, but only when this doubt is reasonably founded on unimpeachable documentary or other evidential material in his/her possession. This is a concession which has to be availed of sparingly with due discretion and caution in appropriate cases. However, where the reply/contradiction or rejoinder is being published in compliance with the directions of the Press Council, its permissible to append a brief editorial not to that effect. Right of rejoinder cannot be claimed through the medium of Press Conference, as publication / coverage of news of a conference is within the discretionary powers of an editor.


An editor who decides to open his columns for letters on a controversial subject is not obliged to publish all the letters received in regard to that subject. He is entitled to select and publish only some of them either in entirety or the gist


thereof. However, in exercising this discretion, he must make an honest endeavour to ensure that what is published is not one-side but represents a fair balance between the views for and against with respect to the principal issue in controversy. In the event of rejoinder being sent by two parties on a controversial subject, the editor has the discretion to decide at which stage to close the continuing column.


In the matter of writing an editorial, the editor enjoys a good deal of latitude and discretion. Its for him to choose the subject and its also form him to use such language as he considers appropriate, provided that in writing the editorial he doesnt transgress the law and violate the norms of journalism and editorial comments published in the newspaper should be couched in sober and dignified language. Selection of the material for publication as reports/articles/letters is within the discretion of an editor; therefore its his duty that a controversial issue of public interest, all views are given equal prominence so that the people can form their independent opinion in the matter. The editor should not publish the news report/article if his mind is in doubt about the truth of the news/article/ if the veracity of any part of the news/report is in doubt, that portion should be omitted and rest be published provide the editor is satisfied and that the remainder is substantially true and its publication will be for public benefit.


Newspaper/ journalists shall not publish anything which is obscene, vulgar or offensive to public good taste. Newspaper shall not display advertisements which are vulgar or which, through depiction of a woman in nude or lewd posture, provoke lecherous attention of males as if she herself was a commercial commodity for sale. Column such as Very Personal in a newspaper replying to personal queries of the readers must not become grossly offensive presentations, which either outrage public decency or corrupt public moral.


OF SOCIAL EVILS TO BE ESCHEWED: Newspaper shall not allow their columns to be misused for writings which have a tendency to encourage or glorify social evils like Sati Pratha or ostentatious celebrations. B)

REPORTING ON NATURAL CALAMITIES: Facts and data relating to spread of epidemics or natural calamities shall be checked up thoroughly from authentic sources and then published with due restraint in a manner bereft of sensationalism, exaggeration, surmises or unverified facts. 18. VIOLENCE NOT TO BE GLORIFIED: Photo Coverage on terrorist attack, communal clashes and accidents:- While reporting news with regard to terrorist
attacks, or communal riots, the media should refrain from publishing/telecasting pictures of mangled corpses or any other photographs coverage which may create terror, or revulsion or ignite communal passion among people.

Newspaper/journalists shall avoid presenting acts of violence, armed robberies and terrorist activities in a manner
that glorifies the perpetrators on their acts, declarations or death in the eyes of the public. Publication of interviews of anti-social elements by the newspapers glorifying the criminals and their activities with the resultant effects to be avoided.


News, views or comments relating to communal or religious disputes/clashes shall be published after proper verification of facts and presented with due caution and restrain in a manner which is conducive to the creation of an atmosphere congenial to communal harmony, amity and peace. Sensational, provocative and alarming headlines are to be avoided. Acts of communal violence or vandalism shall be reported in a manner as may not undermine the peoples confidence in the law and order machinery of the state. Giving community wise figures of the victims of communal riot, or writing about the incident in a style which is likely to inflame passions, aggravate the tension, or accentuate the strained relations between the communities / religious groups concerned or which has a potential to exacerbate the trouble shall be avoided. Journalists and columnist owe a very special responsibility to their country in promoting communal peace and amity. Their writings are not mere reflection of their own feelings but help to large extent in moulding the feelings and sentiments of the society at large. Its therefore, of utmost importance that they use their own pen with circumspection and restrain.


The role of media in such situations is to be peacemakers and not abetters, to be trouble-shooters and not troublemakers. The media, as a chronicle of tomorrows history, owes an undeniable duty to the future to record events as simple untailored facts. The analysts of the events and opinion thereon are a different genre altogether. The treatment of the two also thus has necessarily to be different. In times of crisis, facts unadorned and simply put, with due care and restraint, cannot be reasonably objected to in a democracy. However, a heavy responsibility devolves on the author of opinion articles. The author has to ensure that not only are his or her analysis free from any personal preferences, prejudices or notions, but also they are based on verified, accurate and established facts and do not tend to foment disharmony or enmity between castes, communities and races.


Newspaper shall, as a mater of self-regulation, exercise due restraint and caution in presenting any news, comment or information which is likely to jeopardise, endanger or harm the paramount interests of the state and society, or the rights of individual with respect to which reasonable restrictions may be imposed by law on the right to freedom or speech and expression under clause (2) of Article 19 of the Constitution. Publication of wrong/incorrect may is a very serious offence. It adversely affects the integrity of the country and warrants prompt the prominent retraction with regrets.

21. FOREIGN RELATIONS: - Media plays a very important role in moulding public opinion and developing better
understanding between countries. Objective reporting so as not to jeopardise friendly bilateral relations is therefore desirable.


MAY EXPOSE MISUSE OF DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY : The media shall make every possible to build bridges of co-operation, friendly relations and better understanding between Indian and foreign states. At the time, its the duty of a newspaper to expose any misuse or undue advantage of the diplomatic immunities.

23. INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM, ITS NORMS AND PARAMETERS: Investigative journalism has three basic elements: It has to be work of the reporter, not of others he is reporting the subject should be of public importance for the reader to know An attempt is being made to hide the truth from the people. o That the investigative reporter should as a rule base his story on facts investigated, detected and verified by himself and not on hearsay or on derivative evidence collected by a third party, not checked up from direct, authentic sources by the reporter himself. o o o o o There being a conflict between the factors which require openness and those which necessitate secrecy, the investigative journalist should strike and maintain in his report a proper balance between openness on the one hand and secrecy on the other, placing the public good above everything. The investigative journalist should resist the temptation of quickies or quick gains conjured up from half-baked incomplete, doubtful facts, not fully checked up and verified from authentic sources by the reporter himself. Imaginary facts or ferreting out or conjecturing the non-existent should be scrupulously avoided. Facts and yet more fact are vital and they should be checked and cross-checked whenever possible until the moment the paper goes to Press. The newspaper must adopt strict standards or fairness and accuracy of facts. Findings should be presented in an objective manner, without exaggerating or distorting that would stand up in a court of law, if necessary. The reporter must not approach the matter or the issue under investigation, in a manner as though he were the prosecutor or counsel for the prosecution. The reporters approach should be fair, accurate and balanced. All facts properly checked up, both for and against the core issues, should be distinctly and separately stated, free from any one-sided inferences or unfair comments. In all proceedings including the investigation, presentation and publication of the report, the investigative journalist newspaper should be guided by the paramount principle of criminal jurisprudence, that a person is innocent unless the offence allegedly against him is proved beyond doubt by independent, reliable evidence. Though the legal provisions of Criminal Procedure do not in terms, apply to investigating proceedings by a journalist, the fundamental principles underlying them can be adopted as a guide on grounds of equity, ethics and good conscience.

o o


TO BE RESPECTED : If information is received from a confidential source, the confidence should be respected. The journalist cannot be compelled by the Press Council to disclose such source; but it shall not be regarded as a


breach of journalistic ethics if the source is voluntarily disclosed in proceedings before the Council by the journalist who considers it necessary to repel effectively a charge against him/her. This rule requiring a newspaper not to publish matters disclosed to it in confidence is not applicable where: 1. Consent of the source is subsequently obtained; or 2. The editor clarifies by way of an appropriate footnote that since the publication of certain matters were in the public interest, the information in question was being published although it hade been made off the record


TO AVOID CRASS COMMERCIALISATION: 1) While newspapers are entitled to ensure, improve or strengthen their financial viability by all legitimate means, the Press shall not engage in crass commercialisation or unseemly cut-throat commercial competition with their rivals in a manner repugnant to high professional standards and good taste,

2) Predatory price/trade competition among newspapers, laced with tones disparaging the products of each other, initiated and carried on in print; assume the colour of unfair trade practice repugnant to journalistic ethics. The question as when it assumes such an unethical character is one of the fact depending on the circumstances of each case. 3) The practice of taking security deposit by an editor from the journalists at the time of their appointment is unethical.


ACTIVITIES: Defrauding the public by closing down a publication subsequent to collection of subscription is unethical on the part of management of the paper/periodical/magazine. If the closure is inevitable, the subscription amount due should be returned to the subscribers.


MISCONDUCT: Blackmailing or extortion of money form people under threat of maligning them through the columns of newspaper amounts to gross violation of journalistic norms. RIVALRY : Newspaper columns should not be misused by rival newspapers to gratify their private spite against each other out of commercial rivalry.

28. PLAGIARISM: 1) Using or passing off the writings or ideas of another as ones own, without crediting the source is an
offence against ethics of journalism. 2) Violation of copyright also constitutes violation of journalistic norms.


LIFTING OF STORIES: 1) The practice of lifting of news from other newspapers publishing them subsequently as their own, ill-comports the high standards of journalism. To remove its unethicalilty the lifting newspaper must duly acknowledge the source of the report. 2) The position of features articles is different from news: Feature articles shall not be lifted without permission / proper acknowledgement.

30. ILLEGAL REPRODUCTION: The Press shall not reproduce in any form offending or excerpts from a proscribed book. 31. NO RETURN OF UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: 1) A paper is not bound to return unsolicited material sent for consideration
of publication. However, when the same is accompanied by stamped envelope, the paper should make all efforts to return it. 2) Whenever, articles from the contributors are published free of remuneration, there must be an agreement not to pay and the newspaper should follow this practice as a rule.

Commercial ads are information as much as social, economic or political information. What is more, ads shape attitude and ways of life at least as much, as other kinds of information and comment. Journalistic propriety demands that ads must be clearly distinguishable from news content carried in the newspaper. No ad shall be published, which promotes directly or indirectly production, sale or consumption of cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor and other intoxicants. Newspaper shall not publish ads, which have a tendency to malign or hurt the religious sentiments of any community or section of society. Ads which offend the provisions of the Drugs and Magical Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act, 1954, or any other statue should be rejected. Deliberate failure to publish an ad in all the copies of a newspaper offends against the standards of journalistic ethics and constitutes gross professional misconduct. There should be total co-ordination and communication between the advertisement department and the editorial department of a newspaper in the matter of considering the legality of propriety or otherwise of an advertisement received for publication.


The editors should insist on their right to have the final say in the acceptance or rejection of ads, especially those which border on or cross the line between decency and obscenity. Newspapers to carry caution notice with matrimonial ads carrying the following text: Readers are advised to make appropriate thorough inquiries before acting upon any advertisement. This newspaper does not vouch or subscribe to claim and representation made by the advertiser regarding the particular of status, age, income of the bride/ bridegroom An editor shall be responsible for all matters, including ads published in the newspaper. If responsibility is disclaimed, this shall be explicitly stated beforehand. Tele-friendship ads carried by newspapers across the country inviting general public to dial the given number for entertaining talk and offering suggestive tele-talk tend to pollute adolescent minds and promote immoral cultural ethos. The Press should refuse to accept such ads. Classified ads to health and physical fitness services using undignified languages, indicative of covert soliciting, are violative of law as well as ethics. The newspaper should adopt a mechanism for vetting such an ad to ensure that the soliciting ads are not carried. Ads of contraceptive and supply of brand item attaching to the ad is not very ethical, given the social milieu and the traditional values held dear in our country. A newspaper has a sacred duty to educate people about precautionary measures to avoid AIDS and exhibit greater far sight in accepting ad even though issued by social welfare organisation.

33. MANAGEMENT EDITOR RELATIONSHIP: There shall be well-recognised distinction between the editor and the
journalist on the one hand and the Manager, the Executive or the Administrator on the other, whatever the nomenclature that they may carry in a particular newspaper establishment. The duties and responsibilities of the editor and the management differ and whatever the co-ordination may be required to efficiently manage the establishment to bring out the journal, the functions of the two are separate and have to keep as such. Once the owner lays down the policy of the newspaper for general guidance, neither he nor anybody on his behalf can interfere with the day to day functioning of the editor and the journalistic staff working under him. It is well established that the freedom of the Press is essentially the freedom of the people to be informed accurately and adequately on all issues, problems events and developments. In discharge of the editorial functions the editor is supreme and superior event to the owner. The independence of the newspaper is essentially the independence of the editor from all internal and external restrictions. Unless the editor enjoys this freedom he will be unable to discharge his primary duty with is to the people and without such freedom, he can be held responsible in law for all that appears in the newspaper. In the running of the newspaper, the managerial, administrative or business side of the newspaper has to be kept independent of its editorial side and should not be allowed to encroach upon or interfere with the editorial section. This precaution is to be taken even when the owner and the editor is the same. The proprietor must not allow his business interests and considerations to either dominate or interfere with the newspapers obligation to the people.


Recognising that the Press which enjoys the utmost freedom of expression has a great and vital role to play in educating and moulding public opinion on correct lines in regard to the need for friendly and harmonious relations between the various communities and religious groups forming the fabric of Indian political life and in mirroring the conscience of the best minds of the country to achieve national solidarity, the Press Council of India considers that this object would be defeated, communal peace and harmony disturbed and national unity disrupted if the Press does not strictly adhere to proper norms and standards in reporting on or commenting on matters which bear on communal relations. Without attempting to be exhaustive, the Council considers the following as offending against journalistic proprieties and ethics. 1. 2. 3. 4. Distortion or exaggeration of facts or incidents in relation to communal matters or giving currency to unverified rumours, suspicious or inferences as if they were facts and base their comments. Employment of intemperate or unrestrained language in the presentation of news or views, even as a piece of literacy flourish or for the purpose of rhetoric or emphasis. Encouraging or condoning violence even in the ace of provocation as a means of obtaining redre4ss of grievances whether the same is genuine or not. While its the legitimate function of the Press to draw attention to the genuine and legitimate grievances of any community with a view to having the same redressed by all peaceful, legal and legitimate means, it is improper and a


breach of journalistic ethics to invent grievances, or to exaggerate real grievances, as these tend to promote communal ill-feeling and accentuate discord. 5. Scurrilous and untrue attacks on communities, or individuals, particularly when this is accompanied by charges attributing misconduct to them as due to their being members of a particular community or caste. 6. Falsely giving a communal colour to incident which might occur in which members of different communities happen to be involved. 7. Emphasising matters that are not to produce communal hatred or ill-will, or fostering feelings of distrust between communities. 8. Publishing alarming news which are in substance untrue or make provocative comments on such news or even otherwise calculated to embitter relations between different communities or regional or linguistic groups. 9. Exaggerating actual happenings to achieve sensationalism and publication of news which adversely affect communal harmony with banner headlines or in distinctive types. 10. Making disrespectful, derogatory or insulting remarks on or reference to the different religions or faiths or their founders.






The state government should take upon themselves the responsibility of keeping a close watch on the communal writings that might spark off tension, destruction and death and bring them to the notice of the Council. 2. The government may have occasion to take action against erring papers or editors. But I must do so within the bound of law. If newsmen are arrested, or search and seizure operations become necessary, it would be healthy convention if such developments could be reported to the Press Council within 24 to 48 hours followed by a detailed note within a week. 3. Under no circumstances must the authorities resort to vindictive measures like cut in advertisements, cancellation of accreditation, cut in newsprint quota by the Press; 4. Provocative and sensational headlines should be avoided by the Press 5. Headings must reflect and justify and master primed under them 6. Figures of causalities given in headlines should preferably be on the lower side in case or doubt about their exactness and where the numbers reported by various sources differ widely; 7. Headings containing allegations made in statements should either identify the person/body making the allegation or, at least should carry quotation marks. 8. News reports should be devoid of comments and value judgement; 9. Language employed in writing the news should be temperate and such as may foster feelings or amity among communities and groups 10. Corrections should be promptly published with due prominence and regrets expressed in serious cases, and 11. It will help a great deal if in service training given to journalists for inculcation of all these principles.


The mass media should help set an agenda for the country to fight AIDS pandemic in co-ordination with the government, the medical profession and the voluntary agencies. So far, the media in India have treated AIDS more as news than a growing menace and scourge threatening both human lives and dignity. From sporadic news, AIDS must become a campaign target for mass media with the following components of Dos and Donts: 1. Media must inform and educate the people, not alarm or scare them. The emphasis must be on HIV can be prevented from going into unaffected humans. AIDS takes around 10 years to develop and HIV is a virus which does not survive for long outside a body. Thus it is not spread by casual contact, hugging or kissing or through food or water or through insects. Media must hammer home the point that AIDS through sexual transmission or blood infection can be prevented. Media must report every case pertaining to AIDS to be it positive or negative. There must be constant liaison between the media and the medical profession to report on latest developments and research findings. Media must highlight and crusade against such practice as quarantine, isolation and ostracism of AIDS patients. Besides being an affront to human dignity, those practices will not help minimise AIDS infection, and are injurious to public health as: they give a false sense of security to people outside the stigmatised group that the treat of infection has been removed and the need for precaution minimised. Also, such practices will drive the AIDS problem underground and make the campaign against the scourge more difficult. Media must force the authorities to impose rigorous blood-testing norms on prostitutes and professional women and issue periodical warning to the public about areas where the incidence of AIDS had high probability.

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6. 7.

Media must as a role respect the right to privacy of AIDS patients and must not subject them to needless exposure and social stigma. Every medium must observe the terms of the final document of the international consultation of AIDS and human rights, and promptly report the violation of such rights protecting the basic human rights to life and liberty, privacy and freedom of movement.


The Press Council of India has counselled reporters/financial journalists/newspaper establishments to refrain from receiving any gifts/concessions/facilities, etc. either in cash or kind which are likely to compromise free and unbiased reporting on financial matters. The Council in its Report has observed that the financial journalists today enjoy considerable influence over readers minds and therefore, they owe it to them to present a balanced and objective view of the financial dealings, status and prospects of a company. It observed that some companies are given excessive news coverage in the newspapers/magazines because they have issued ads to that print media. Sometimes, adverse reports are published of those companies which do not give ads to the newspapers or magazines. Again, when a media is not happy with any company/management for whatever reason, the negative aspects of the company are highlighted, while in the reverse situation, no negative aspects are brought to light. Some companies are also known to give gifts, loans, discounts, preferential shares, etc. to certain financial journalists to receive favourable and positive reports of the companies. At the same time, there is no mechanism for investors education or for raising opinion against such unhealthy practices. The Council feeling concerned over the malpractice in the Corporate Sector and after holding detailed deliberations and discussions with the representatives of financial institutions and journalists, has recommended the guidelines enumerated below for observance by the financial journalist. o o o o o o The financial journalists should not accept gifts, loans, trips, discounts, preferential shares or other considerations which compromise or are likely to compromise his position. It should be mentioned prominently in the report about any company that the report is based on information given by the company or the financial sponsors of the company. When trips are sponsored for visiting establishments of a company, the author of the report who has availed of the trip must state invariably that the visit was sponsored by the company concerned and that it had also extended the hospitality as the case may be. No matter related to the company should be published without verifying the facts form the company and the source of such reports should also be disclosed. A reporter who exposes a scam or brings out a report for promotion of a good project should be encouraged and awarded. A journalist who has financial interests such as share holdings, stock holdings, etc. in a company should not report on that company.


The Indian Constitution confers no special rights or privileges to the press as does the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, Article 19 (i) (a) of the Constitution does guarantee freedom of expression for every citizen which includes: The right to lay what sentiments he/she pleases before the public, other right to impart information and ideas. The right to receive information and ideas form others through any lawful medium. It is this Article that gives editors and journalists the right to publish news or any kind of information, and to comment on public affairs, and the public the right to receive information of which the United Nations Charter of Human Rights speaks so forcefully. These are the fundamental rights, and imply the right to print, publish, comment and criticise without any interference from the State or any public authority. It includes the right not to publish or comment as well. However, the freedom of the press is not absolute; neither is the freedom of expression. Public interest has to be safeguarded; so has private interest and the right to privacy.


Public interest is safeguarded by Article 19 (2) which lays down reasonable limitations to the freedom of expression in matters affecting: a. Sovereignty and integrity of the state f. Contempt of court b. Security of the state g. Defamation, and c. Friendly elations with foreign countries h. Incitement to an offence d. Public order e. Decency or morality

RIGHT TO PRIVACY is not a specific fundamental right in India, but it has gained Constitutional recognition.
The Law of Privacy, is in fact, a recognition of an individuals right to be left alone and to have personal space inviolate. It is an important part of the Law of the Press. It has been subsequent Supreme & High Court judgements that have been used to further explain the law whenever cases have emerged. Privacy is defined as the inherent right to regulate ones personal affairs (eg. a newspaper publishing a photograph of a female movie star taking a sunbath on the roof of a private house. The photographer might have violated the privacy of the actress concerned and trespassed into the private premises. This is a violation of privacy which calls for damages. However, public figures have less protection in this regard, since their area of operation is in public domain there is only a thin separation between their private and public affairs). Violation of Privacy if complained and proved may involve a Law Case. The publication may be sued at Law for damages and prevented from further publication of such violations. The need for privacy and its recognition as a right is a modern phenomenon. It is the product of an increasingly individualistic society in which the focus has shifted from society to the individual. In earlier times, the Right to Privacy was mainly confined to physical privacy, or the Law afforded protection only against physical interference with a person or her/his property. With the progress of human civilization the definition of privacy covered personal, intellectual, and spiritual likes of human beings, and the scope of the Law expanded to offer protection to all these factors. Privacy is defined as the rightful claim of the individual to determine the extent to which one wishes to share of oneself with others and ones control over the time, place, and circumstances to communicate with others. This means an individuals right to withdraw or the individuals ight to participate as one wishes. It further means the individuals right to control dissemination of information about oneself. It is ones own personal possession. This is also defined as zero relationship with others if an individual decides so.

The Right To Privacy is used to describe:

1. Rights in the private domain between individuals deals with the extent to which a private citizen is
entitled to personal information about another individual. This includes the media and general public.

2. Constitutional rights against the State deals with the extent to which Government authorities can
intrude into the private life of the citizen to keep a watch over his/her movements through devices such as telephone tapping or surveillance. + The Government authorities can also intrude and decide whether a pregnant woman can go for an abortion or an HIV infected person has the right to marry or have children. + Freedom of speech and expression and the right to privacy are two sides of the same coin. One persons right to know and be informed may violate another persons privacy. Like the freedom of speech and expression is vital for the dissemination of information in matters of public interest, it is equally important to safeguard the private life of an individual to the extent that it is not related to public duties or matters of public interest. The Law of Privacy strikes a balance between the competing freedoms. + The development of the modern media has a special relevance to the law of Privacy. When the Mass Media was in its infancy, the private life of an individual was not much threatened. However, the booming explosion of the print and broadcast media opened the floodgates of invasion of media into private lives of both private and public individuals. + Growing literacy level also added to the media invasion of private lives. The information revolution heralded by print or visual and electronic media virtually invaded the private lives of individuals. Computer and


telecommunication technologies dramatically increased the amount of information that can be stored, retrieved, accessed and collated almost immediately. + Police, IT Departments, Banks, Insurance Agencies, Credit Rating Agencies, Stock Brokers, Employers, Marriage Bureaus, Airlines, Hotels (Industrial Intelligence) collect enormous amounts of personal information. With the advent of Internet, this information is even more easily accessible. Public authorities are thus keeping a close watch on ones privacy. The overlian big brother is watching, the individual is almost everywhere. Each time one logs onto the internet, one leaves behind an electronic trail. Websites and advertising agencies track an individual as they have access to the individuals personal preferences, habits and lifestyles. This is used by marketing agencies who target individuals. Credit cards also leave behind an individual a trail of information. Ones brands, ones favourite restaurants are all disclosed! Location-based tracking of individuals is also possible in modern wireless phones. Techniques like data-mining ensure that every bit of information is extracted and logged. The Law on Privacy has not kept pace with technological development. Even today, in no country does the right to privacy enjoy the status of a specific constitutional right. Privacy Law has evolved largely through Judicial Pronouncements. Despite the lack of specific Constitutional recognition, the Right to Privacy has long held a place in international documents on Human Rights such as Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (to which India is a signatory), reads as follows: (1) No one shall be subject to arbitrary or unlawful interference with personal privacy, family, com or correspondence, nor to attacks on personal honour and reputation. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the Law against such interference and attacks. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights reads as follows: Everyone has the right to respect for ones private and family life, ones home and correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority in the exercise of ones right except such as in accordance with Law and necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national security, public safety for the prevention of disorder and crime or for the protection of health or morals.
Case Study: In 2005, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra filed a complaint in Press Council of India against the editor of Today, an English daily afternoon newspaper of the India Today Group. The Newspaper had published, on the front page, an article on Priyankas son regarding an accident he met with. Photographs of the child and parents were also published. This report and photographs offended Priyanka. According to her consent, neither the article nor the photographs published involved any public interest. They only generated undue voyeuristic and morbid public curiosity about the minor child which was against the interest of the child. It was highly objectionable and directly infringed the childs right to privacy and normal upbringing, it was argued. The child was unnecessarily and unethically dragged into a controversy. The complainant also said that many a time the press unauthorizedly took photographs of the minor child when he was in public or private functions. This was against journalistic ethics and violation of privacy of the child. Though a legal notice was sent with a request to seize and dissest from publishing article or photograph, there was no reply. The Press Councils intervention was thus sought. The Council sent a notice to the editor and the editor denied each and every allegation, saying that they were misconceived, devoid of merits, and untenable. The article was intended to create awareness regarding security of public figures. The allegations were purely imaginary interventions. The editor further argued and added that he always maintained a balance between the citizens right to privacy and the publics right to information. Any conduct or event involving a public figure which impinges upon the public might reasonably be made public. A public figure can reasonably be subject t greater public scrutiny than his / her fellow citizens. The complainant and her family members have made public appearances on several occasions in the past and these were covered by national dailies and TV channels. They had by their own volition (willingness) and conduct rendered themselves to public scrutiny. It was also brought to the notice of the Council that the complainant belongs to a high profile political family which had always been part of the countrys politics and had been in the limelight. The accidents and incidents involving them generate great public interest. The enquiry committee of the Press Council took up the issue and heard the arguments of both sides. Earlier arguments and counter arguments were repeated. Security threat to the child was highlighted by the complainant along with points like how it would hamper a childs normal growth. The accident as a private incident attended to in private, argued the complainant, while stating that there was no reason to devote nearly two pages of the paper to the incident. There was also no need to publish the photographs of the minor and his parents. It was counter-argued that the paper had abided by the norms laid down by the United Nations in reporting on minors. The editor further stated that after receiving the complaint and objection, the paper did not report any further in the matter, respecting the concerns and sentiments of mother. He said that while the paper could not give any absolute assuarance, the it would not in future cover the child at any time, since this would necessarily depend on the issue t be covered, it would respect the privacy the complainant decided for the child. The enquiry held the view that the right to privacy was an inviolable human right. However, the degree of privacy differs from person to person. It drew attention to similar cases involving Prince William in UK and Chelsea Clinton in USA. It summed up that the report on the child was the accurate report of a minor accident involving the minor child of a private personality. The committees findings were like this: The Press delineate on public interest what is of public interest is clearly distinguishable from what is in public interest. (1) The Press should bother only in only what is in public interest. (2) The presentation of the report was not proportionate to the scale of the incident. It had been blown out of proportion. (3) the paper made no effort to seek the consent of the parents.


(4) However, after the objection made by the mother of the child, the paper refrained any further reporting on the child. So the committee represented to the PCI to close the case with an advise to the newspaper to strike a balance between the freedom of the Press and the right of an individual to his or her right to privacy. The PCI reported the findings of the committee.

Though the right to privacy in India is not specific fundamental right, the courts are carved out a constitutional right to privacy by creative interpretation of the right to life and the right to freedom of movement. The right to privacy in India has derived itself from essentially 2 sources: (1) The common law of torts and (2) the Constitutional Law. In Common Law a private action for damages for unlawful invasion of privacy is maintainable. The printer and publisher of a journal, magazine, book are liable in damages if they publish any matter concerning the private life of the individual without his/her consent. There are two exceptions to this rule: (i) The Right to Privacy does not survive once the publication is a matter of public record. (ii) when the publication relates to the discharge of the official duties of a public servant and the action is not maintainable until the publication is proved to be false, malicious or is in reckless disregard for truth. Under the Constitutional Law, right to privacy is implicit in the fundamental right to life and liberty guaranteed by Art 21 of the Constitution. This has been interpreted to include the right to be left alone. The Constitutional Right to Privacy flowing from Art 21 must however be read together with the Constitutional right to publish any matter of public interest subject to reasonable restrictions. The first few cases that presented the Indian Supreme Court with the opportunity to develop the Law on Privacy were cases of police surveillance. The Court examined the Constitutional validity of Legislations that empowered the police to keep a secret watch on the movements of an individual. The first of these cases Khadak Singh versus State of UP was a challenge to the Constitutional validity of Rule 236 of the UP Police Relations which permitted surveillance. A majority on the bench struck down regulation 236(B) which authorised domiciliary visits as being unconstitutional, but upheld the other provisions under that regulation. The majority were unreceptive to the idea of recognising a Right to Privacy and dismissed the claim on the ground that there would be no fundamental right to protect mere personal sensitiveness. Their view was based on the conclusion that the infringement of a fundamental right must be both direct as well as tangible, and that the freedom guaranteed under Art 91 (1) (A) was not infringed by a watch being kept over the movements of a suspect. It was however, the minority view expressed by Justice Subha Rao that laid the foundations for the development of the Privacy Law in India Justice Rao held that the concept of liberty in Article 21 was comprehensive enough to include privacy and that a persons house where he lives with his family members is his castle and nothing is more intruding to a mans physical happiness and health than a calculated interference with his privacy. The conclusion was that a surveillance by domiciliary visits and other acts under Rule 236 was ultra vireos Art 19(1)(D). The Supreme Court touched upon the rights of the individual privacy in the case of Sheela Barse versus State of Maharashtra, Prabha Dutt versus Union of India, in all these cases, journalists sought permission from the Court to interview and photograph prisoners. Although the issue of privacy was not directly dealt with, the Court agreed upon the Right to Privacy by holding that the Press had no absolute right to interview or photograph a prisoner but could do so only with his consent. R Rajagopal versus State of Tamil Nadu is a watershed in the development of the Indian law of privacy. For the first time, the Supreme Court discussed the Right to Privacy in the context of the Freedom of the Press. The case concerned the right of a publisher of a magazine to publish the autobiography of the condemned prisoner the serial killer Auto-Shanker. The respondents contended that the intended publication was likely to be defamatory and therefore required to be restrained. The issue of the Right to Privacy came up in this context. The Supreme Court stated that the Press had the right to publish what they claimed was the autobiography of Auto-Shanker, in so far as it appeared from the public records even without the consent or authorisation of the accused. However, if the press items went beyond the pubic record and published the lifes story, that might amount to an invasion of his Right to Privacy. The Court recognised two aspects of the Right to Privacy: (1) The Law of Defamation and its links with Privacy (2) The Constitutional right to be left alone. The case Kaleidoscope India versus Pholan Devi is quite well known. The trial judge restrained the execution of the movie Bandit Queen, both in India and abroad. The trial Court held a prima face view that the film infringed the Right to Privacy of Phoolan Devi, not withstanding that she had assigned her copyright in writing to the film producers. This Trial Courts decision was upheld by the Division Bench. The Court observed that even assuming that Phoolan Devi was a public figure whose private life was exposed to the media, the question was to what extent private matters relating to rape or the alleged murders committed by her could be commercially exploited, and not just as news items, or matters of public interest?


Another case is the one concerning Peoples Union of Civil Liberties - PUCL (a group that protects the rights of Naxalites and other such radical groups) versus Union of India. PUCL challenged Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act 1885 which permits interception of messages in cases of public emergency or in the interest of public safety. The Supreme Court observed that the Right to Privacy which was part of the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Art 21 included the right to hold a telephone conversation in the privacy of ones home or office. It was held that telephone tapping, a form of technological eavesdropping infringed the Right to Privacy. Finding that the Government had failed to lay down a proper procedure under Section 7(2)(B) of the Act to ensure procedural safeguards against the misuse of the power under Section 5(2) the Court prescribed stringent measures to protect the individuals privacy, to the extent possible. To sum up it is essential that the State and the Press should strike a balance between the Freedom of the Press and the right of an individual to his Privacy. It is also necessary to preserve the balance between the right of the individual to be let alone and the fundamental right to free speech, expression and information. The law makers, judiciary, and the press should keep this spirit in their minds. The Chief Justice of India, Justice K Balakrishnan, while inaugurating a workshop on reporting of court proceedings by media and administration of justice, said recently in Mumbai Freedom of the Press means peoples right to know correct news. Journalism especially in the field of crime must not encroach upon peoples right to privacy. Investigating officers should not reveal information to media during the investigation. It encroaches upon right to privacy. He admitted that newspapers cannot be as drab as Government Gazettes. A tinge of sensationalism is necessary.


An ombudsman is someone who handles complaints and attempts to find mutually satisfactory solutions. Ombudsmen can be found in government, corporations, hospitals, universities and other institutions. The first ombudsman was appointed in 1809 in Sweden to handle citizens' complaints about the government. The word is pronounced "om-BUDS-man" and is Scandinavian in origin. WHAT IS A NEWS OMBUDSMAN: A news ombudsman receives and investigates complaints from newspaper readers or listeners or viewers of radio and television stations about accuracy, fairness, balance and good taste in news coverage. He/she recommends appropriate remedies or responses to correct or clarify news reports. WHY SHOULD A NEWSPAPER OR BROADCASTER HAVE AN OMBUDSMAN?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. To improve the quality of news reporting by monitoring accuracy, fairness and balance. To help his or her news provider to become more accessible and accountable to readers or audience members and, thus, to become more credible. To increase the awareness of its news professionals about the public's concerns. To save time for publishers and senior editors, or broadcasters and news directors, by channelling complaints and other inquiries to one responsible individual. To resolve some complaints that might otherwise be sent to attorneys and become costly lawsuits.


No two ombudsmen work exactly alike. But typically, they monitor news and feature columns, photography and other graphic materials for fairness, accuracy and balance. They bring substandard items to the attention of the appropriate members of the news staff. They investigate and reply to comments and complaints concerning published or broadcast news and feature material. They obtain explanations from editors and other staff members for readers, viewers or listeners. Some supervise the preparation of corrections. Others write internal newsletters about readers' views and complaints. Many news ombudsmen write regular columns that deal with issues of broad public interest, or with specific grievances. Where appropriate, columns may criticize, explain or praise. Other ombudsmen initiate or coordinate public forums or reader advisory boards in an effort to connect more closely with readers. Many speak before various public and private groups to help explain media practices. Some send accuracy questionnaires to persons whose names have appeared in news stories and ask for comments.


In some smaller news organizations ombudsmen find it necessary to assume other news-related duties. But in any event, news ombudsmen generally function in an advisory capacity only, not as disciplinarians.

HOW DOES THE PUBLIC BENEFIT? - An ombudsman helps to explain the news-gathering process to the public, a process
that often is mysterious and, therefore, suspect to many readers. Having a contact person can help overcome the belief that news media are aloof, arrogant or insensitive to concerns of the public and generally inaccessible to average citizens. An ombudsman's column provides still another useful forum for readers, particularly in one-newspaper cities.

WHO PAYS? - Most ombudsmen are selected from within the senior staff of the newspaper or broadcaster they monitor. A
few are on fixed-term, non-cancellable contracts. In any case, they typically have deep experience in journalism and are chosen also because they have the ability to relate easily and undefensively to readers.


THIS A NEW IDEA? Relatively speaking, yes -- at least in the United States and Canada. The first newspaper ombudsman in the U.S. was appointed in June 1967 in Louisville, Kentucky, to serve readers of The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. The first Canadian appointment -- at The Toronto Star -- was in 1972. The concept was in place much earlier in Japan. The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo established a committee in 1922 to receive and investigate reader complaints. Another mass circulation Tokyo paper, The Yomiuri Shimbun, set up a staff committee in 1938 to monitor the paper's quality. In 1951 this group became an ombudsman committee which today hears reader complaints about the paper and which meets daily with editors. News ombudsmen today are found throughout North and South America, Europe, and parts of the Middle East and Asia. WHAT IS THE ORGANIZATION OF NEWS OMBUDSMEN (ONO)? Formed in 1980, ONO is a non-profit corporation with an international membership of active and associate members. It maintains contact with news ombudsmen worldwide, and organizes annual conferences, held in a member's city, for discussion of news practices and a wide range of issues connected with ombudsman work.



To help the journalism profession achieve and maintain high ethical standards in news reporting, thereby enhancing its own credibility among the people it serves. To establish and refine standards for the job of news ombudsman or reader representative. To help in the wider establishment of the position of news ombudsman on newspapers and elsewhere in the media. To provide a forum for exchanging experiences, information and ideas among its members. To develop contacts with publishers, editors, press councils and other professional organizations, provide speakers for special interest groups and respond to media inquiries.




The news ombudsman's primary objective is to promote transparency within his / her news organization. The ombudsman works to protect press freedom and promote responsible, high-quality journalism. Part of the ombudsman's role is to receive and investigate complaints about news reporting on behalf of members of the public. The ombudsman recommends the most suitable course of action to resolve issues raised in complaints. The ombudsman is an independent officer acting in the best interests of news consumers. The ombudsman strives to remain completely neutral and fair. The ombudsman refrains from engaging in any activity that could create a conflict of interest. The ombudsman explains the roles and obligations of journalism to the public. The ombudsman acts as a mediator between the expectations of the public and the responsibilities of journalists.


Broadcast codes do not permit:
a. b. c. d. Criticism of friendly countries Attack on religions or communities Anything obscene or defamatory Incitement to violence or anything against maintenance of law and order


e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l.

Anything amounting to contempt of court Aspersion against the integrity of the President, Governors and the Judiciary Attack on a political party by name Hostile criticism of any state or the centre Anything showing disrespect to the Constitution or advocating change in the Constitution by violence, but advocating changes in a constitutional way should not be debarred. Appeal for funds except for the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund, at a time of External Emergency or if the Country is faced with a natural calamity such as floods, earthquake or cyclone Direct publicity for or on behalf of an individual or organisation which is likely to benefit only that individual or organisation Trade names in broadcasts which amount to advertising directly (except in commercial services).

Under this Act, Cable operator - means any person who provides cable service through a cable television network or otherwise controls or is responsible for the management and operation of a cable television network. CABLE SERVICE -means the transmission by cables of programmes including retransmission by cables of any broadcast television signals. CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK means any system consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, control and distribution equipment, designed to provide cable service for reception by multiple subscribers. COMPANY - means a company as defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956. PROGRAMME means any television broadcast that includesa. Exhibition of films, features, drams, ads and serials through video cassette recorders or video cassette players; b. Any audio or audio-visual live performance or presentation, and the expression programming service shall be construed accordingly, PROGRAMME CODE: No person shall transmit or retransmit through a cable service any programme unless such programme is in conformity with the prescribed programme code: provided that nothing in this shall apply to the programmes of foreign satellite channels which can be received without the use of any specialised gadgets or decoder. COMPULSORY TRANSMISSION OF TWO DOORDARSHAN CHANNELS: a. Every cable operator using a dish antenna or Television Receiver only shall, from the commencement of this Act, retransmit at least two Doordarshan channels of his choice through the cable service. b. And the Doodarshans programme shall be retransmitted without any deletion or alteration of any programme transmitted on such channels. ADVERTISING CODE: No person shall transmit or retransmit through a cable service any ad unless such ad is in conformity with the prescribed advertisement code.



Advertising is an important and legitimate means for the seller to awaken interest in his/her goods and services. The success of advertising depends on public confidence. Hence no practice should be permitted which tends to impair this confidence. The standards laid down here should be taken as minimum standards of acceptability which would be liable to be reviewed from time to time in relation to the prevailing norms of viewers susceptibilities. The following standards are laid down in order to develop and promote healthy advertising practices in Doordarshan. Responsibility for the observance of these rests equally upon the Advertisers and the Advertising Agency. All those engaged in advertising are strongly recommended to familiarise themselves with the legislation affecting advertising in this country, particularly the following Acts and the Rules framed under them: Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 Drugs Control Act, 1950 Consumer Protection Act, 1986 Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 Copyright Act, 1957 AIR/Doordarshan Code Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 Code of Ethics for advertising in India is issued by Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 the Advertising Standard Council of India. Pharmacy Act, 1948 Code of Standards in relation to the advertising of Prize Competition Act, 1955 medicine and treatments. Standards of practice for Advertising Agencies.

THE CODE: General Rules of Conduct in Advertising

1. Advertising shall be so designed as to conform to the laws of the country and should not offend morality, decency and religious susceptibilities of the people. 2. No advertisement shall be permitted a. Derides any race, caste, colour, creed and nationality is against nay of the directive principles or any other provision of the Constitution of India; tends to incite people to crime, cause disorder or violence, or breach of law or glorifies violence or obscenity in any way. b. Presents criminality as desirable c. Adversely affects friendly relations with foreign States d. Exploits the national emblem, or any part of the Constitution or the person or personality of a national leader or State Dignitary e. Relates to or promotes cigarettes and tobacco products, liquor, wines and other intoxicants 3. No advertisement message shall in any way be presented as News 4. No ad shall be permitted the objects whereof are wholly or mainly of a religious or political nature; ads must not be directed towards any religious or political end or have any relation to any industrial dispute. 5. Ads for services concerned with the following shall not be accepted: a. Money lenders b. Chit Funds c. Saving schemes and lotteries other than those conducted by Central and State govt. organisations, Nationalised or recognised banks and Public Sector Undertakings d. Matrimonial agencies e. Unlicensed employment services f. Fortune tellers or sooth-sellers etc. and those with claims of hypnotism g. Foreign goods and foreign banks 6. The items advertised shall not suffer from any defect or deficiency as mentioned in Consumer Protection Act. 1986 7. No ad shall contain references which are likely to lead to public to infer that the product advertised or any of its ingredients has some special or miraculous or super-natural property or quality, which is difficult of being proved, e.g., cure of baldness, skin whitener, etc. 8. No ad shall contain the words Guarantee or Guaranteed etc., unless the full terms of the guarantee are available for inspection by the Director General, All India Radio and are clearly set out in ad and are made available to the purchaser in writing at the point of sale or with the goods, in all cases terms must include details of the remedial action available to the purchaser. 9. Ads shall not contain disparaging or derogatory references to another product or service


10. Testimonials must be genuine and used in a manner not to mislead the listeners. Advertisers or Advertising Agencies must be prepared to produce evidence in support of their claims. 11. No ad of any kind of jewellery (except artificial jewellery) or precious stones hall be accepted. 12. Information to consumers on matters of weight, quality or prices of products where given shall be accurate. 13. Ads indicating price comparisons or reductions must comply with relevant laws. 14. No Ads shall be accepted which violates AIR Broadcast Code.


18. No ad for a product or services shall be accepted if it suggests in any way that unless the children themselves buy or encourage other people to buy the products or services, they will be failing in their duty or lacking in loyalty to any person or organisation. 19. No ad shall be accepted which leads children to believe that if they do not own or use the products advertised they will be inferior in some way to other children or that they are liable to be condemned or ridiculed for not owning or using it. 20. No ad likely to bring advertising into, contempt or disrepute shall be permitted. Advertising shall not take advantage of the superstition or ignorance of the general public. 21. No ad of talismans, charms and character-reading from photographs or such other matter as well as those which trade on the superstition of general public shall be permitted. 22. Advertising shall be truthful, avoid distorting facts and misleading the public means of implications of false statements. 23. Indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all ads.


This Code has been drafted for the guidance of advertisers, manufactures, distributors, advertising agents, publishers and suppliers of various advertising media. The harm to the individual that may result from exaggerated, misleading or unguaranteed claims justified the adoption of a very high standard and the inclusion of considerable detail in a Code to guide those who are concerned with this form of advertising. a. CURE: No ad should contain a claim to cure any ailment or symptoms of ill-health, nor should any ad contain a word or expression used in such a form or context as to mean in the positive sense the extirpation of any ailment, illness, or disease. b. ILLNESS ETC., PROPERLY REQUIRING MEDICAL ATTENTION: No ad should contain any matter which can be regarded as offer of medicine or product for, or advice relating to, the treatment of serious disease, complaints, conditions, indications or symptoms which should rightly receive the attention of a registered medical practitioner. c. MISLEADING OR EXAGGERATED CLAIMS: No ad should contain any matter which directly or by implication misleads or departs from the truth as to the composition, character or action of the medicine or treatment advertised or as to its suitability for the purpose for which it is recommended. d. APPEALS FOR FEAR: No ad should be calculated to induce fear on the part of the reader that he is suffering, or may without treatment suffer from an ailment, illness or disease. e. DISPARAGING REFERENCES: No ad should directly or by implication disparage the products, medicines or treatments of another advertisers or manufacturer or registered medical practitioner or the medical profession. f. COLLEGE, CLINIC, INSTITUTE, LABORATORY: No ad should contain these or similar terms unless and establishment corresponding with the description used does in fact exist. g. DOCTORS, HOSPITALS ETC.: No advertisement should contain any reference to doctors or hospitals, whether Indian or foreign, unless such reference can be substantiated by independent evidence and can properly be used in the manner proposed. h. PRODUCTS OFFERED PARTICULARLY TO WOMEN: No ad of products, medicines or treatments of disorders or irregularities peculiar to women should contain expression which may imply that the product, medicine or treatment advertised can be effective in inducing miscarriage. i. FAMILY PLANNING: Ads for measures or apparatus concerning family planning would be permissible in so far as they conform to the generally accepted national policy in this behalf.


j. ILLUSTRATIONS: No ad should contain any illustration which by itself or in combination with words used in k. l. m. n.
connection therewith is likely to convey a misleading impression, or if the reasonable inference to be drawn from such ad infringes any of the provisions of this code. EXAGGERATED COPY: No ad should contain any copy which is exaggerated by reason of improper use of words, phrases or methods of presentation e.g., the use of words magic, magical, miracle, miraculous. NATURAL REMEDIES: No ad should claim or suggest contrary to the fact that the article advertised is in the form in which it occurs in nature or that its value lies in its being a natural product. SPECIAL CLAIMS: No ad should contain any reference which is calculated to lead the public to assume that the article, product, medicine or treatment advertised has some special property or quality which is in fact unknown or unrecognised. SEXUAL WEAKNESS, PREMATURE AGEING, AND LOSS OF VIRILITY: No ad should claim that the product, medicine or treatment advertised will promote sexual virility or be effective in treating sexual weakness or habits associated with sexual excess or indulgence or any ailment, illness or disease associated with those habits. In particular such terms as Premature ageing, loss of virility will be regarded as conditions for which medicines, products, appliances or treatment may not be advertised. SLIMMING, WEIGHT REDUCTION OR LIMITATION OR FIGURE CONTROL: No ad should offer any medical product for the purpose of slimming, weight reduction or limitation of figure control. Medical products intended to reduce appetite will usually be regarded as being for slimming purposes. TONICS: The use of this expression in ad should not imply that the product or medicine can be used in the treatment of sexual weakness. HYPNOSIS: No ad should contain any offer to diagnose or treat complaints or conditions by hypnosis. MATERIAL TO STUDENTS: Materials meant for distribution in educational institutions must not carry advertisement of anything other than that value to students.

o. p. q. r.


ADOPTED BY THE ADVERTISING STANDARD COUNCIL OF INDIA UNDER ARTICLE 2 (II) OF ITS ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION AT THE FIRST MEETING OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS HELD ON NOVEMBER 20, 1985. THE CODE WAS AMENDED IN FEBRUARY 1995 AND MORE RECENTLY IN JUNE 1999. The purpose of the Code is to control the content of ads, not to hamper the sale of products which may be found offensive, for whatever reason, by some people. Provided, therefore, that advertisements for such products are not themselves offensive, there will normally be no ground for objection to them in terms of this code. The Standards of Conduct: To ensure the truthfulness and honesty of representations and claims made by
Ads and to safeguard against misleading ads. 1. Ads must be truthful. All descriptions, claims and comparisons which relate to matters of objectivity ascertainable fact should be capable of substantiation as and when called upon to do so by The Advertising Standards Council of India. Where advertising claims are expressly stated to be based on or supported by independent research or assessment, the source and date of this should be indicated in the advertisement. 2. Ads shall not, without permission from the person, firm or institution under reference, contain any reference to such person, firm or institution which confers an unjustified advantage on the product advertised or tends to bring the person, firm or institution into ridicule or dispute. If and when to do so by the Advertising Standards Council of India, the advertisers and the advertising agency shall produce explicit permission from the person, firm or institution to which reference is made in the advertisement. 3. Ads shall neither distort facts nor mislead the consumer by means of implications or omissions. Ads shall not contain statements or visual presentation which directly or by implication or by omission s or by ambiguity or by exaggeration are likely to mislead the consumer about the product advertised or the advertiser or about any other product or advertiser.


4. Obvious untruths or exaggerations intended to amuse or to catch they eye of the consumer are permissible. Provided that they are clearly to be seen as humours or hyperbolic and not likely to be understood as making literal or misleading claims for the advertised products. 5. Ads should contain nothing indecent, vulgar or repulsive which is likely, in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and property, to cause grave or widespread offence. 6. Ads shall not be so framed as to abuse the trust of consumers or exploit their lack of experience or knowledge. No ad shall be permitted to contain any claim so exaggerated as to lead to grave or widespread disappointment in the minds of consumers. For example: 1. Products shall not be described as free where there is any direct cost of delivery, freight or postage. Where such cost are payable by the consumer, a clear statement that this is the case shall be made in the ad. 2. Where a claim is made that if one product is purchased another product will be provided free, the advertisers is required to show as and when called upon by the Advertising Standards Council of India that the price paid by the consumer for the product which is offered for purchase with the advertised incentive. 3. Claims which use expression such as upto five years guarantee or prices from as low as y are not acceptable if there is a likelihood of the consumer being mislead either as to the extent of the availability or as to the applicability of the benefits offered. 4. Special care and restraint has to be exercised in ads addressed to those suffering from weakness, any real or perceived inadequacy of any physical attributes such as height or bust development, obesity, illness, importance, infertility, baldness and the like to ensure that claims or representations, directly or by implication, do not exceed what is considered prudent by generally accepted standards or medical practice and the factual efficacy of the product. 5. Ads inviting the public to invest money not to contain statements which may mislead the consumer in respect of the security offered, rates, of return or terms of amortisation; where any of the foregoing elements are contingent upon the continuance of or change in existing conditions, or any other assumptions, such conditions or assumptions must be clearly indicated in the ads. 6. Ads inviting the public under the law in lotteries or price competitions permitted under the law or which hold out the prospects of gifts shall state clearly all material conditions so as to enable the consumers to obtain a true and fair view of their prospects in such activity. Further, such advertisers shall make adequate provisions for the judging of such competitions, announcement of the results and the fair distribution of prizes or gifts according to advertised terms and conditions within a reasonable period of time. 7. ADS





Advertising and PR organisations are well aware that consumer groups and the public are often critical of the manipulative and deceptive methods resorted by advertisers and PR professionals. These organisations have drawn up Codes of Ethics with the hope of regulating and disciplining the profession. The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), a body which brings together advertisers, ad agencies and the media, has drawn up a detail and elaborate Code. It has also established a Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) to examine complaints received. The Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) has not yet formulated a Code of Ethics for its members; it claims, however, that its members are committed to the International Code of Ethics, drawn up by the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) in Athens in 1965, and later modified at the annual meeting of the IPRA Council held in Tehran on April 17, 1968.


A public relations person shall practice public relations according to the highest professional standards. He/she shall conduct their professional life in a manner that does not conflict with the public interest and the dignity of the individual, with respect for the rights of the public. They shall deal fairly and honestly with the communications media and the public and shall neither propose nor act to improperly influence the communications media, government bodies or the legislative process. Improper influence may include conferring gifts, privileges or benefits to influence decisions.


A PR person shall practice the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, integrity and truth, and shall not knowingly disseminate false or misleading information. He/she shall not make extravagant claims or unfair comparisons, nor assume credit for ideas and words not their own. A PR shall deal fairly with past or present employers/clients, with fellow practitioners, and with members of other professions. PR shall not intentionally damage another practitioner's practice or professional reputation. He/she shall understand, respect and abide by the ethical code of other professions with whose members they may work from time to time. A PR shall be prepared to disclose the name of their employer or client for whom public communications are made and refrain from associating themselves from anyone that would not respect such policy. A PR shall be prepared to disclose publicly the name of their employer or client on whose behalf public communications is made. A member shall also not associate themselves with anyone claiming to represent one interest or professing to be independent or unbiased, but actually serving another or undisclosed interest. A PR shall protect the confidences of present, former and prospective employers/clients. Members shall not use or disclose confidential information obtained from past or present employers/clients, without the express permission of the employers/clients or upon the order of a court of law. A PR shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without the express consent of those concerned, given after a full disclosure of the facts. Members shall not permit personal or other professional interests to conflict with those of an employer/client without fully disclosing such interests to everyone involved.