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Press and Registration of Periodicals Act Comes into Effect

The provisions of the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023, have come into force w.e.f. March 1, 2024, as notified by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

This Act received presidential assent in December 2023 and has repealed the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. Some of the important features of the Act include the exclusion of books from its purview (since books as a subject are administered by the Ministry of Education), punishment in the form of imprisonment applicable only in extreme cases, and the filing of applications through online mode.

In the exercise of powers conferred under the said legislation, the Ministry has also notified the Press and Registration of Periodicals Rules, 2024, providing the manner of furnishing intimation by a printer of a periodical, registration of facsimile edition of a foreign periodical, making an online application for obtaining a certificate of registration of a periodical, etc.

Accordingly, every printer of a periodical has to send an intimation on the Press Sewa Portal to the Press Registrar General and the specified authority within whose jurisdiction the printing press is situated. The draft rules released in January required such an intimation to be sent within 15 days of starting a printing press of a periodical. The same has been modified to 30 days under the notified rules. While Rule 4 provides for the registration of facsimile edition of a foreign periodical, Rule 5 deals with the grant of certificate of registration of a periodical.

As per Rule 8, in case of discontinuation of publication of periodicals, an online intimation regarding the same needs to be sent, within 6 months of discontinuation, to the Press Registrar General and the specified authority. Publishers are required to submit annual statements as prescribed under Rule 9. Additionally, the electronic version of the newspaper has to be uploaded on the Press Sewa Portal and the physical copies of the newspapers have to be sent to the office of the Press Information Bureau and the office of the State Government or the Union Territory administration so authorised, adhering to the timelines provided under Rule 10. If the newspapers are published in the National Capital Territory of Delhi Region, they have to be delivered to the office of the Press Registrar General in New Delhi.

 

Date: March 4, 2024