Nothing 'obnoxious' in taking steps to stop fake news: PCI

ANI | Updated: Apr 03, 2018 22:55 IST

New Delhi [India], Apr 3 (ANI): Terming fake news as a 'global menace', Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman, Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad on Tuesday said that if the government intends to take remedial steps to check its spread then there is nothing wrong or obnoxious about it.

In a letter, the PCI Chairman said that no person should or can justify the dissemination of fake news.

"Fake news is a global menace and if any government intends to take remedial steps to check its spread, per se, there is nothing wrong or obnoxious about it, provided that the authority to decide the truthfulness or otherwise of an allegation of fake news is entrusted to an Independent statutory body like, the Press Council of India," the statement read.

He, however, added that the accreditation of the journalists can be suspended or canceled only in gross case of fake news and repeated involvement in fake news dissemination after allegations are determined by the Council.

Fake news can only be registered by the PCI, but a complaint can be filed by an individual, the government or any other aggrieved person.

The complaints are further dealt by the Council following the laid down procedure in the Press Council Act and Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) Regulations.

An Information and Broadcasting Ministry statement issued on Monday stated that if a journalist is found to have created or propagated fake news then his/her accreditation will be suspended or cancelled permanently.

However, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday directed that the guidelines are withdrawn and the matter should only be addressed in the Press Council of India.

After Prime Minister's directive, Union I&B Minister Smriti Irani said she would be happy to engage in a debate with journalists to fight the menace of fake news. (ANI)