The primary statute that governs and regulates the publication of books, newspapers and magazines is the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. In addition, the Newspaper (price and Page) Act, 1956 regulates, governs and endeavors to prevent unfair competition among newspapers so that newspapers generally and in particular, newspapers with smaller resources and those published in Indian languages, may have fuller opportunities of freedom of expression.
The term “newspaper” is defined in the Newspaper (Price and Page) Act, 1956 as any published periodical work containing public news or remarks on public news appearing at intervals of not greater than a week. The main function of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is to control the office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India (“RNI”) and frame the rules under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867. Therefore, anybody who is inclined to start a newspaper, magazine or journals, will have to seek prior approval from RNI. Headquartered in New Delhi, the regional branches of RNI are in Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
The RNI is entrusted with assembling and maintaining a Register of Newspapers; issuing Certificates of Registration to the newspapers (“RNI Registration”); Verifying claims; and various non-statutory functions and rules.
Photo: Who requires RNI Registration