The Press Council of India on 14.04.2020 vide press release specified that it has no jurisdiction over Electronic Media, Television channels, Social media viz. WhatsApp, Facebook/ Twitter etc. The Press Council of India was established under Press Council Act 1978. It is a statutory, quasi-judicial authority whose main purpose is to preserve the freedom of the press, to maintain and improve the standards of the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.
The Press Council in its clarification stated that vide section 14 of the abovementioned Act that the Council is empowered to warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist concerned or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist of it finds that a newspaper or news agency has offended against the standards of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or a working journalist has committed any professional misconduct, on the receipt of complaint or otherwise.
Further, complaints against and by the print media are adjudicated by the Council by adhering to the Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) Regulations, 1979.
Referring to abovementioned section of the said Act, the Council clarified that it has power to regulate newspapers and news agency only. It cannot control or regulate the news published by way of modern electronic means.