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PRASARBHARATI (BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF INDIA) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 25 of 1990


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Amending Acts
  • Act nº 25 of 1990

Preamble

THE PRASAR BHARATI (BROADCASTING CORPORATION OF INDIA) ACT, 1990

[Act, No. 25 of 1990]

[12th September, 1990]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the establishment of a Broadcasting Corporation for India, to be known as Prasar Bharati, to define its composition, functions and powers and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-first Year of the Republic of India as follows :-

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires.

(a) "Akashvani" means the offices, stations and other establishments, by whatever name called, which, immediately before the appointed day, formed part of or were under the Director-General, All India Radio of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting;

(b) "appointed day" means the date appointed under section 3;

(c) "broadcasting" means the dissemination of any form of communication like signs, signals, writing, pictures, images and sounds of all kinds by transmission of electro-magnetic waves through space or through cables intended to be received by the general public either directly or indirectly through the medium of relay stations and all its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

(d) "Board" means the Prasar Bharati Board;

(e) "Broadcasting Council" means the Council established under section 14;

(f) "Chairman" means the Chairman of the Corporation appointed under section 4;

(g) "Corporation" means the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) established under section 3;

(h) "Doordarshan" means the offices, kendras and other establishments, by whatever name called, which, immediately before the appointed day, formed part of or were under the Directorate-General, appointed day, formed part of or were under the Directorate-General, Doordarshan of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting;

(i) "elected Member" means a Member elected under section 3;

(j) "Executive Member" means the Executive Member appointed under section 4;

(k) "kendra" means any telecasting centre with studios or transmitters or both and includes a relay station;

(l) "Member" means a Member of the Board;

(m) "Member (Finance)" means the Member (Finance) appointed under section 4;

(n) "Member (Personnel)" means the Member (Personnel) appointed under section 4;

(o) "Nominated Member" means the Member nominated by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under section 3;

(p) "Non-lapsable Fund" means the Fund created from the commercial revenues of Akashvani and Doordarshan to meet expenditure on certain schemes;

(q) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(r) "Part-time Member" means a Part-time Member of the Board appointed under section 4, but does not include an ex officio Member, the Nominated Member or an elected Member;

(s) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(t) "Recruitment Board" means a board established under sub-section (1) of section 10;

(u) "regulations" means regulations made by the Corporation under this Act;

(v) "station" means any broadcasting station with studios or transmitters or both and includes a relay station;

(w) "whole-time Member" means the Executive Member, Member (Finance) or Member (Personnel);

(x) "year" means the financial year.

Chapter II

Section 3. Establishment and composition of Corporation

(1)With effect from such date as the Central Government may by notification appointin this behalf, there shall be established for the purposes of this Act aCorporation, to be known as the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation ofIndia).

(2) The Corporation shall be a body corporate by the nameaforesaid having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire,held and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract, andshall by the said name sue and be sued.

(3) The headquarters of the Corporation shall be at NewDelhi and the Corporation may establish offices, kendras or stations at otherplaces in India and, with the previous approval of the Central Government,outside India.

(4) The general superintendence, direction and managementof the affairs of the Corporation shall vest in the Prasar Bharati Board whichmay exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things as may be exercisedor done by the Corporation under this Act.

(5) The Board shall consist of -

(a) a Chairman;

(b) oneExecutive Member ;

(c) one Member(Finance) ;

(d) one Member(Personnel);

(e) sixPart-time Members ;

(f) Director-General(Akashvani), ex officio ;

(g) Director-General (Doordarshan), ex officio ;

(h) onerepresentative of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to benominated by that Ministry ; and

(i) tworepresentatives of the employees of the Corporation, of whom one shall beelected by the engineering staff from amongst themselves and one shall beelected by the other employees from amongst themselves.

(6) The Corporation may appoint such committees as may benecessary for the efficient performance, exercise and discharge of itsfunctions, powers and duties :

Provided that all or a majority of the members of eachcommittee shall be Members and a member of any such committee who is not aMember shall have only the right to attend meetings of the committee and takepart in the proceedings thereof, but shall not have the right to vote.

(7) The Corporation may associate with itself, in suchmanner and for such purposes as may be provided by regulations, any person whoseassistance or advice it may need in complying with any of the provisions of thisAct and a person so associated shall have the right to take part in thediscussions of the Board relevant to the purposes of which he has beenassociated, but shall not have the right to vote.

(8) No act or proceeding of the Board or of any committeeappointed by it under sub-section (6) shall be invalidated merely by reason of.-

(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of,the Board or such committee ; or

(b) any defect in the appointment of a person acting as aMember or a member of such committee ; or

(c) any irregularity in the procedure of the Board or suchcommittee not affecting the merits of the case.

Section 4. Appointment of Chairman and other Members

(1) The Chairman and the other Members, except the ex officio Members, the Nominated Member and the elected Members shall be appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of a committee consisting of

(a) the Chairman of the Council of States, who shall be the Chairman of the Committee ;

(b) the Chairman of the Press Council of India established under section 4 of the Press Council Act, 1978(37 of 1978) ; and

(c) one nominee of the President of India.

(2) No appointment of a Member shall be invalidated merely by reason of any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the committee appointed under sub-section (1).

(3) The Chairman and the Part-time Members shall be persons of eminence in public life ; the Executive Member shall be a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as administration, management, broadcasting, education, literature, culture, arts, music, dramatics or journalism ; the Member (Finance) shall be a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of financial matters and the Member (Personnel) shall be a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of personnel management and administration.

(4) The recommendations made by the committee constituted under sub-section (1) shall be binding for the purposes of appointment under this section.

Section 5. Powers and functions of Executive Member

TheExecutive Member shall be the Chief Executive of the Corporation and shall,subject to the control and supervision of the Board, exercise such powers anddischarge such functions of the Board as it may delegate to him.

Section 6. Term of office, conditions of service, etc., of Chairman and other Members

1[(1) The Chairman shall be Part-time Member and shall hold office for a term of three years from the date

on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier:

Provided that any person holding office as a Chairman immediately before the commencement of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Act, 2008 shall, in so far as his appointment is inconsistent with the provisions of this sub-section, cease to hold office on such commencement as such Chairman and shall not be entitled to any compensation because of his ceasing to hold such office.]

(2) The Executive Member, the Member (Finance) and the Member (Personnel) shall be Whole-time Members and every such Member shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-two years, whichever is earlier.

2[(2A) The Executive Member shall be a Whole-time Member and shall hold office for a term of five years

from the date on which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier:

Provided that any person holding office as an Executive Member immediately before the commencement of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Act, 2008, shall, in so far as his appointment is inconsistent with the provisions of this sub-section, cease to hold office on such commencement as such Executive Member and shall not be entitled to any compensation because of his ceasing to hold such office.]

(3) The term of office of Part-time Members shall be six years, but one-third of such Members shall retire on the expiration of every second year.

(4) The term of office of an elected Member shall be two years or till he ceases to be an employee of the Corporation, whichever is earlier.

(5) As soon as may be after the establishment of the Corporation, the President of India may, by order, make such provision as he thinks fit for curtailing the term of office of some of the Part-time Members then appointed in order that one-third of the Members holding office as such Part-time Members shall retire in every second year thereafter.

(6) Where before the expiry of the term of office of a person holding the office of Chairman, or any other Member, a vacancy arises, for any reason whatsoever, such vacancy shall be deemed to be a casual vacancy and the person appointed or elected to fill such vacancy shall hold office for the unexpired period of the term for which his predecessor in office would have held office if such vacancy had not arisen.

(7) The Whole-time Members shall be the employees of the Corporation and as such shall be entitled to such salaries and allowances and shall be subject to such conditions of service in respect of leave, pension (if any), provident fund and other matters as may be prescribed:

Provided that the salaries and allowances and the conditions of service shall not be varied to their disadvantage after their appointment.

(8) The Chairman and Part-time Members shall be entitled to such allowances as may be prescribed.

_
1. Substituted by the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Act, 2008 w.e.f. 7th day of February, 2008 for the following :-

"(1) The Chairman shall be Part-time Member and shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office."

2. Inserted by the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Act, 2008 w.e.f. 7th day of February, 2008.


Section 7. Removal and suspension of Chairman and Members

(1)Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the Chairman or any other Member,except an ex officio Member, the Nominated Member and an elected Member, shallonly be removed from his office by order of the President of India on the groundof misbehavior after the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by thePresident, has, on inquiry held in accordance with such procedure as the SupremeCourt may by rules provide, reported that the Chairman or such other Member, asthe case may be, ought, on such ground, be removed.

(2) thePresident may suspend from office the Chairman or other Member except an exoffico Member, the Nominated Member or an elected Member, in respect of whom areference has been made to the Supreme Court under sub-section (1) until thePresident has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court onsuch reference.

(3)Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the President may, byorder, remove the Chairman or any Whole-time Member form his office if suchChairman or such Whole-time Member-

(a) ceases to be a citizen of India ; or

(b) is adjudged an insolvent ; or

(c) engages during his term of office in any paidemployment outside the duties of his office ; or

(d) is convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude ;or

(e) is, in the opinion of the President, unfit to continuein office by reason of infirmity of body or mind :

Provided that the President may, by order, remove anyPart-time Member from his office if he is adjudged an insolvent or is convictedof any offence involving moral turpitude or where he is, in the opinion of thePresident, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of body or mind

(4) If the Chairman or any Whole-time Member, except any exoffico Member, the Nominated Member or any elected Member, is, or becomes in anyway concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf ofthe Corporation or the Government of India or the Government of a State or,participates in any way in the profit thereof, or in any benefit or emolumentarising therefrom than as a member, and in common with other members of anincorporated company, he shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be deemedto be guilty of misbehaviour.

(5) If a Part-time Member is, or becomes in any wayconcerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of theCorporation, he shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be deemed to beguilty of misbehaviour.

(6) The Chairman or any other Member may resign his officeby giving notice thereof in writing to the President of India and on suchresignation being accepted, the Chairman or other Member shall be deemed to havevacated his office.

Section 8. Meetings of Board

(1) The Board shall meet at such times and places and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at meetings) as may be provided by regulations :

Provided that there shall not be less than six meetings every year but three months shall not intervene between one meeting and the next meeting.

(2) A Member shall be deemed to have vacated his office if he absents himself for three consecutive meetings of the Board without the leave of the Chairman.

(3) The Chairman shall preside at the meetings of the Board and if for any reason he is unable to attend any meeting, the Executive Member and in the absence of both, any other Member elected by the Members present at such meeting, shall preside at the meeting.

(4) All questions which come up before any meeting of the Board shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the Members present and voting and, in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman, or in his absence, the person presiding, shall have and exercise a second or casting vote.

Section 9. Officers and other employees of Corporation

(1) Subject to such control, restrictions and conditions as may be prescribed, the Corporation may appoint, after consultation with the Recruitment Board, the Director-General (Akashvani), the Director-General (Doordarshan) and such other officers and other employees as may be necessary.

(2) The method of recruitment of such officers and employees and all other matters connected therewith and the conditions of service of such officers and other employees shall be such as may be provided by regulations.

Section 10. Establishment of Recruitment Boards

(1) the Corporation shall, as soon as may be, after the appointed day and in such manner and subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, establish for the purposes of section 9, one or more Recruitment Boards consisting wholly of persons other than the Members, officers and other employees of the Corporation :

Provided that for the purposes of appointment to the posts carrying scales of pay which are not less than that of a Joint Secretary to the Central Government, the Recruitment Board shall consist of the Chairman, other Members, the ex officio Members, the Nominated Member and the elected Members.

(2) The qualifications and other conditions of service of the members constituting the Recruitment Board and the period for which such members shall hold office, shall be such as may be prescribed.

Section 11. Transfer of service of existing employees to Corporation

(1) Where the Central Government has ceased to perform any functions which under section 12 are the functions of the Corporation, it shall be lawful for the Central Government to transfer, by order and with effect from such date or dates as may be specified in the order, to the Corporation any of the officers or other employees serving in the Akashvani or Doordarshan and engaged in the performance of those functions

Provided that no order under this sub-section shall be made in relation to any officer or other employee in the Akashvani or Doordarshan who has, in respect of the proposal of the Central Government to transfer such officer or other employee to the Corporation, intimated within such time as may be specified in this behalf by the Central Government, his intention of not becoming an employee of the Corporation.

(2)The provisions of sub-section (1) shall also apply to the members of the Indian Information Service, the Central Secretariat Service or any other service or to persons borne on cadres outside Akashvani and Doordarshan who have been working in Akashvani or Doordarshan immediately before the appointed day :

Provided that where any such member intimates, within the time specified in sub-section (1), his intention of not becoming an employee of the Corporation but to continue on deputation, he may be allowed to continue on deputation in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.

(3) In making an order under sub-section (1), the Central Government shall, as far as may be, take into consideration the functions which the Akashvani or, as the case may be, Doordarshan has ceased or ceases to perform and the area in which such functions have been or are performed.

(4) An officer or other employee transferred by an order under sub-section (1) shall, on and from the date of transfer, cease to be an employee of the Central Government and become an employee of the Corporation with such designation as the Corporation may determine and shall, subject to the provisions of sub-sections (5) and (6), be governed by such regulations as may be made as respects remuneration and other conditions of service including pension, leave and provident fund and shall continue to be an officer or other employee of the Corporation unless and until his employment is terminated by the Corporation.

(5) Every officer or other employee transferred by an order made under sub-section (1) shall, within six months from the date of transfer, exercise his option, in writing, to be governed -

(a) by the scale of pay applicable to the post held by him in the Akashvani or Doordarshan immediately before the date of transfer or by the scale applicable to the post under the Corporation to which he is transferred ;

(b) by the leave, provident fund, retirement or other terminal benefits admissible to employees of the Central Government in accordance with the rules or orders of the Central Government, as amended from time to time, or the leave, provident fund or other terminal benefits admissible to the employees of the Corporation under the regulations, and such option once exercised under this Act shall be final :

Provided that the option exercised under clause (a) by an officer or other employee shall be applicable only in respect of the post under the Corporation to which such officer or other employee is transferred and on appointment to a higher post under the Corporation he shall be eligible only for the scale of pay applicable to such higher post :

Provided further that if immediately before the date of his transfer any such officer or other employee is officiating in a higher post under the Government either in a leave vacancy or any other vacancy of a specified duration, his pay on transfer shall be protected for the unexpired period of such vacancy and thereafter he shall be entitled to the scale of pay applicable to the post under the Government to which he would have reverted or to the scale of pay applicable to the post under the Corporation to which he is transferred, whichever he may opt :

Provided also that when an officer or other employee serving in the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or in any of its attached or subordinate offices is promoted to officiate in a higher post in the Ministry or office subsequent to the transfer to the Corporation of any other officer or employee senior to him in that Ministry or office before such transfer, the officer or other employee who is promoted to officiate in such higher post shall, on transfer to the Corporation, be entitled only to the scale of pay applicable to the post he would have held but for such promotion or the scale of pay applicable to the post under the Corporation to which he is transferred, whichever he may opt.

(6) No officer or other employee transferred by an order made under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), -

(a) shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that competent to make a similar or equivalent appointment under the Corporation as may be specified in the regulations ;

(b) shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which he has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges :

Provided that where it is proposed after such inquiry to impose upon him any such penalty, such penalty may be imposed on the basis of evidence adduced during such inquiry and it shall not be necessary to give such person an opportunity of making representation on the proposed penalty :

Provided further that clause (b) shall not apply where an officer or other employee is dismissed or removed or reduced in rank on the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction on a criminal charge.

Section 12. Functions and powers of Corporation

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the primary duty of the Corporation to organise and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public and to ensure a balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television.

Explanation.- For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the provisions of this section shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885(13 of 1985).

(2) The Corporation shall, in the discharge of its functions, be guided by the following objectives, namely :-

(a) upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution ;

(b) safeguarding the citizen's right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own ;

(c) paying special attention to the fields of education and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology ;

(d) providing adequate coverage to the diverse cultures and languages of the various regions of the country by broadcasting appropriate programmes ;

(e) providing adequate coverage to sports and games so as to encourage healthy competition and the spirit of sportsmanship ;

(f) providing appropriate programmes keeping in view the special needs of the youth :

(g)informing and stimulating the national consciousness in regard to the status and problems of women and paying special attention to the upliftment of women ;

(h)promoting social justice and combating exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and advancing the welfare of the weaker sections of the society ;

(i) safeguarding the rights of the working classes and advancing their welfare ;

(j) serving the rural and weaker sections of the people and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas ;

(k) providing suitable programmes keeping in view the special needs of the minorities and tribal communities ;

(l) taking special steps to protect the interests of children, the blind, the aged, the handicapped and other vulnerable sections of the people ;

(m) promoting national integration by broadcasting in a manner that facilitates communication in the languages in India ; and facilitating the distribution of regional broadcasting services in every State in the languages of that State ;

(n) providing comprehensive broadcast coverage, through the choice of appropriate technology and the best utilisation of the broadcast frequencies available and ensuring high quality reception ;

(o) promoting research and development activities in order to ensure that radio and television broadcast technology are constantly updated ; and

(p) expanding broadcasting facilities by establishing additional channels of transmission at various levels.

(3) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the Corporation may take such steps as it thinks fit:

(a) to ensure that broadcasting is conducted as a public service to provide and produce programmes ;

(b) to establish a system for the gathering of news for radio and television ;

(c) to negotiate for purchase of, or otherwise acquire, programmes and rights or privileges in respect of sports and other events, films, serials, occasions, meanings, functions or incidents of public interest, for broadcasting and to establish procedures for the allocation of such programmes, rights or privileges to the services ;

(d) to establish and maintain a library or libraries of radio, television and other materials ;

(e)to conduct or commission, from time to time, programmes, audience research, market or technical service, which may be released to such persons and in such manner and subject to such terms and conditions as the Corporation may think fit ;

(f) to provide such other services as may be specified by regulations.

(4) Nothing in sub-sections (2) and (3) shall prevent the Corporation from managing on behalf of the Central Government and in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be specified by that Government the broadcasting of External Services and monitoring of broadcasts made by organisations outside India on the basis of arrangements made for reimbursement of expenses by the Central Government.

(5) For the purposes of ensuring that adequate time is made available for the promotion of the objectives set out in this section, the Central Government, shall have the power to determine the maximum limit of broadcast time in respect of the advertisement.

(6) The Corporation shall be subject to no civil liability on the ground merely that it failed to comply with any of the provisions of this section.

(7) The Corporation shall have power to determine and levy fees and other service charges for or in respect of the advertisements and such programmes as may be specified by regulations :

Provided that the fees and other service charges levied and collected under this sub-section shall not exceed such limits as may be determined by the Central Government, from time to time.