THE REGISTRATION OF NEWSPAPER Lakshminarayanan Alaguraja Advocate
INTRODUCTION• The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, more popularly known as RNI, is a government office in India. It came into being on 1 July 1956, on the recommendation of the First Press Commission in 1953 and by amending the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.• The Press and Registration of Books Act contains the duties and functions of the RNI. On account of some more responsibilities entrusted upon RNI during all these years, the office is performing both statutory as well as some non-statutory functions.
STATUTORY FUNCTIONS• Compilation and maintenance of a Register of Newspapers containing particulars about all the newspapers published;• Issue of Certificate of Registration to newspapers published under valid declaration;• Scrutiny and analysis of annual statements sent by the publishers of newspapers every year under PRB Act containing information on circulation, ownership etc;• Informing district magistrates about availability of titles, to intending publishers for filing declaration;• Ensuring that newspapers are published in accordance with the provisions of PRB Act 1867 and the rules made thereunder;• Verification under Section 19-F of PRB Act, of circulation claims furnished by the publishers in their Annual Statements; and• Preparation and submission to the Government on or before December 31 each year, a report containing all available information and statistics about the press in India with particular reference to the emerging trends in circulation and in the direction of common ownership units etc.
NON-STATUTORY FUNCTIONS• Formulation of Newsprint Allocation Policy - Guidelines and issue of Eligibility Certificate to the newspapers to enable them to import newsprint and to procure indigenous newsprint;• Assessing and certifying the essential need and requirement of newspaper establishments to import printing and composing machinery and allied materials.
PRESS AND REGISTRATION OF BOOKS ACT, 1867• The Printer and Publisher should make a declaration about their official status in the presence of District Magistrate.• The declaration should contain the complete details about the news paper such as the language of publication and the place of publication.• Before authentication the Magistrate should enquire with the Registrar of News Papers that all the requisite provisions of sec 6 of the PRB Act have been fulfilled.
Cont…• According to the Act, no newspaper or periodical should bear a title which is the same or similar to any other newspaper or periodical already being published, either in the same language or in the same State, unless the latter is also owned by the same person.
TITLE VERIFICATION• The Printer /Publisher has to submit the details regarding the proposed title to the Magistrate and request Him to have the title verified by the Press Registrar.• On the basis of the details provided by the Registrar, ‘Title verification’ letter can be obtained.
DECLARATION• After getting the title verified the printer and the publisher should make a declaration as per the Registration of Newspapers (central) Rules 1956.• If the Printer and Publisher are in different places, then they should make a separate Declaration and send it to the Magistrate.
The Magistrate will either authenticatethe declaration or issue an orderrefusing to authenticate it, as the casemay be.The Magistrate will send a copy of theauthentication with his attestation tothe persons who made the declarationand to the Press Registrar.
REGISTRATIONAfter the publication of the first issue of the News Paper theRegistration of the News Paper may be sought.The undermentioned documents are required forRegistration.e)Photocopy of title verification letter issued by RNI.f)Attested copy of the declaration.g)First issue indicating Volume.h)The publication should be brought out within 6 weeksfrom the date of authentication of declaration.i)The imprint line should contain the name of the publisher,Printer Editor ,owner and the name of the printing presswith complete address.
CIRCULATION• For the release of government advertisements a newspaper should have a minimum circulation of 2000 copies.• The Press Registrar is empowered to verify the claims made by the Newspaper in this regard