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The Press Council of India has been established under the Press Council Act, 1978 for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers or news agencies in India. The council comprises of 28 members besides its chairman. Justice P. B. Sawant, retired judge of the Supreme Court has been nominated on 24 July 1995 to succeed Justice R. S. Sarkaria as chairman of the council.
The council which is a quasi-judicial body, does not have any punitive power, but it has moral authority. It acts as a `friendly watchdog' over the print media.