Govt move to amend Press law

Govt move to amend Press law

The main features of the proposed Bill include many new definitions such as ‘publications’, ‘newspapers’, ‘magazines’, ‘journals’, ‘newsletter’, etc.

The Internet edition of newspapers is covered under the Act. Those convicted of terrorist acts or done anything against the security of the State would be prevented from bringing out a publication, according to the amended Act.

It includes provisions to prevent blocking of titles to discourage non-serious publishers, making statutory provision for circulation verification.

Provisions with respect to limits on foreign news content (syndication) and foreign investments and the filing of annual statements by publishers will be made compulsory. Reacting to the Cabinet decision, Indian Newspaper Society president Kundan R Vyas on Thursday expressed “deep concern” over the approval to the amendments without any consultation with the stake holders.

Vyas said the provision of “penalty” is a draconian measure which provides for suspension of a publication for the first offence and cancellation and even imprisonment for the third offence.

“The suspension of a publication is too wide a power to be granted to a Magistrate or even a press registrar”, Vyas said.