Journalists accused of reporting or propagating fake news will lose their press accreditation till regulating agencies confirm the validity of the complaint, the Centre said on Monday.

If the agencies – Press Council of India for print media and News Broadcasters Association for electronic media – find the complaint to be true, the journalist will lose accreditation for six months for the first violation. A second violation would get the journalist’s accreditation suspended for a year, and a third violation would take it away permanently, the Centre said.

Complaints of fake news will be referred to the Press Council of India or News Broadcasters Association. The agencies are “expected” to take 15 days to determine if the news item is fake, the government said.

The government said it had amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists, “noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media”.