ILNA voices concern over amendments to PRB Act

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Indian Languages NewspapersAssociation (ILNA) today expressed deepest concern and anguishover the government decision to amend the Press andRegistration of Books Act, 1867.

"The amendments proposed to the newly named Press andRegistration of Books and Publications Bill, 2010 containprovisions and clauses detrimental to the functioning oflanguage newspapers and these will have far reaching adverseconsequences to the whole print media industry in India," ILNAPresident V K Chopra said in a statement here.

He urged Information and Broadcasting Minister AmbikaSoni to halt any further action on this proposed Act andinitiate consultations with stakeholders to address andresolve their issues and concerns.

Chopra said certain clauses containing punishments suchas suspension of publication, cancellation of publication andeven imprisonment are for mere technical violations.

Provision for cessation of a publication has no place indemocracy and it is violative of right to freedom of speechunder Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, he said.

"Vesting wide ranging powers for punishments with thePress Registrar of India is not desirable," Chopra saidexpressing dismay on the "arbitrary" way in which thegovernment was trying to enact the legislation withoutconsultations with stakeholders.

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