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Lok Sabha passes Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill

  • Published
    22nd Dec, 2023
Context

In a historic decision, the Lok Sabha has passed the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023, repealing the colonial era law of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867

  • The Bill has already been passed by Rajya Sabha in the Monsoon Session.
Highlights

Highlights of the Bill:

  • Grant of title allotment and Certificate of Registration Periodicals: The Bill provides for a simple online mechanism to apply for title verification and grant of certificate of registration by the Press Registrar General to a periodical as a simultaneous process.
    • There is no requirement of furnishing any declaration before the local authority or its authentication by the local authority.
    • A person who has been convicted by any court for an offence involving terrorist act or unlawful activity, or having done anything against the security of the State shall not be permitted to bring out a periodical.
    • Facsimile edition of a foreign periodical can be printed in India with prior approval of the Central Government and its registration with the Press Registrar General.
  • Printing Presses: A printer of a periodical to furnish an online intimation to the Press Registrar General and the local authority.
    • No requirement by the Printer to file any declaration before the local authority or obtain authentication from the authority.
  • Role of District magistrate/local authority:
    • The Bill envisages minimalistic role of the District Magistrate/local authority with regard to grant of Certificate of Registration and title allotment.
    • On receipt of an application,
      • The District Magistrate is expected to provide its comments/NOC to the Press Registrar General within 60 days;
      • Thereafter the Press Registrar General can proceed to take a decision for grant of registration even where the comments/NOC are not received from the DM/local authority after 60 days.
    • No requirement for a publisher to file any declaration before the District Magistrate.

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