Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

1. INTRODUCTION
“One of the objects of a newspaper is to understand the popular feeling and give expression to it, another is to arouse among the people certain desirable sentiments, and the third is the fearlessness to expose popular defects.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Communication is the procedure, which we use to exchange information by various methods, and media is the instrument of storing or communicating information. ‘Media’ the popular term inter-alia used as ‘Press’ denotes the print & electronic information carriers –the News Papers & Magazines, Radio, Television and currently includes the Internet as New Media. Hailed as the ‘Fourth Estate’, media is the watchdog of the public affairs, informing the society and vice versa acts as the forum to advocate the views of the society at large to those at the helm of public affairs.

The word medium comes from the Latin word medius (middle). The word communication is derived from the Latin root communicate.

Media law covers an area of law which involves media of all types (TV, film, music, publishing, advertising, internet & new media, etc.), and stretches over various legal fields, including but not limited to corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity, and privacy.

Media law is a legal field that refers to the following:
• Advertising
• Broadcasting
• Censorship
• Confidentiality
• Contempt
• Copyright

• Corporate law
• Defamation
• Entertainment
• Freedom of information
• Internet
• Information technology
• Privacy
• Telecommunications

3. HISTORY OF MEDIA LAWS IN INDIA
When Europeans write on the history of the media, they refer to the Acta diurna of the Roman Empire as closely akin to the newspaper of today. In India, the Rock Edicts of Emperor Ashok (c.273-236 BC) engraved on the rocks contain in abundance measures adopted and regulations issued by him. This is not very different from the news content of modern media. In that era when Ashok, the Great, used this technology for communicating his message throughout his vast empire, there is no reference to restrictions on communication imposed by law. However, the Arthashastra written originally in the reign of Chandragupta Maurya (c. 324-300 BC) by Kautilya mentions punishment for spreading false rumors. The Arthashastra and the Rock Edicts also speak of spies and reporters.

‘Akhbar is the word used for newspapers today in Hindi and Urdu languages and Babur mentions it in such a way as if it is something routine. It was meant to communicate an official announcement by Babur that a tax would be waived on all Muslims if he won the battle and he himself had given up drinking and banned liquor in his dominions. However, there is no reference to any regulation on Akhbar. The earliest mention of pre-typographic newspapers is to be found in a contemporary historical work (Muntakhals-ul-Lubab by Khafi Khan) of the later Mughal times. Colonel James Tod (1782-1835) sent hundreds of original manuscript newspapers to the court of Aurangzeb, sixth of the Great Mughals to the Royal Asiatic Society in London. The size of these seventeenth-century papers, written in different hands, was 8 inches by 4½ inches. These were considerably free and could report even personal affairs of the emperor. There is no record of any law governing these newspapers. Perhaps, there was neither pre-censorship nor licensing, both being Western institutions.

It was a sheer accident, however, that brought the printing press to India on 6th September 1556. Granting a request from Emperor of Abyssinia, the King of Portugal dispatched in 1556 a printing press and technicians via the Cape route. But the patriarch accompanying the press halted en route at Goa from where his onward journey to Abyssinia was first delayed and later abandoned. He died on 22nd December 1562.

The press, intended for missionary work in Abyssinia never left Goa, instead, it printed literature for Abyssinia from Goa.

However, there was no press regulation until the British East India Company started ruling a part of India after the Battle of Plassey in 1757. William Bolts, an ex-employee of the British East India Company attempted to start the first newspaper in India in 1766 but was deported. Later a collection of papers on the affairs of India “particularly respecting the state of Bengal and its dependencies” was published in 1773 by J. Almon, London as “Considerations on Indian Affairs” in two volumes with maps and survey reports. In this publication, he has been identified as former Judge of the Mayor’s Court of Calcutta.

When newspapers in India were published by only Europeans expulsion of the editor (printer) was ultimate penalty. The Supreme Court of Judicature upheld this power. Every foreigner was required to obtain a license for his residence in the territories of the Company and if anyone incurred the displeasure of the officials by writing or publishing something which was not palatable to them, the license was canceled. It appears that growing importance of the Fourth Estate in England and the desire of missionaries to start newspapers in India ultimately led to the abolition of pre-censorship in 1818 by Lord Hastings as missionaries of Serampore started the first Indian language journal Samachar Darpan on 23rd May 1818. It became bilingual carrying news in Bengali and English in parallel columns in 1829.

Like censorship, licensing was also a European institution to control the press. It was introduced in Bengal in 1823 through Adam’s regulations. The East India Company also issued an instruction that no servant of the company should have any connection with a newspaper. This decision was the result of an incident in Bombay (now Mumbai) where a member of the Council of the Governor owned a newspaper. Licensing regulations were replaced by Metcalfe’ Act which was applicable to the entire territory of the East India Company and required that the printer and publisher of every newspaper declare the location of the premises of its publication.

Licensing was, however, reintroduced in 1857 by Lord Canning and was applied to all kinds of publications. This was the year when Indians fought their war of independence against the East India Company after which the British Crown took over the territories of the Company. In 1860 Indian Penal Code was passed as a general law but laid down offenses which any writer, editor or publisher must avoid – the offenses of defamation and obscenity.

The next important event in the field of media laws was the enactment of the Press and Registration of Books Act (25 of 1867). This Act is still in force, of course with amendments from time to time. The object of this Act was to provide for the regulation of the printing presses and of periodical containing news, for the preservation of copies of books and for the registration of books. It contains rules for the registration of books. It contains rules for the making of the declaration by the keepers of presses and publishers of newspapers (part II); rules regulations for the delivery of books (Part III); penalties (Part IV); registration of book (Part V). Part VI of this Act gave powers to the government to make rules and to exempt books or newspapers from the provisions of this Act. The Act 55 of 1955 added Part VA to provide for the appointment of Registrar of Newspapers.

The role of the press during the Wahabi Conspiracy of 1869-70 led to the amendment of the Indian Penal Code (27 of 1870) to incorporate a section on sedition (124-A). This dealt with a person who “excites or attempts to excite the feeling of disaffection to the government established by law in British India.” It came handy to send many freedom fighters to jail for their writings in newspapers. Shortly afterward, the restrictions imposed by the East India Company prior to 1841 returned to the government officers, though in a milder tone. In 1875, the government passed orders that no officer in the service of the government should be permitted without previous sanction to become the proprietor of any periodical or to edit or manage a periodical. Officers were advised to remain within the limits of ‘temperate and reasonable’ discussion. No document or information should be revealed to the press, which they might come to possess in their official capacity. In cases where doubts, may arise as to whether any engagements of officers with the press were consistent with the discharge of their duties to the government, the decision to that effect would lie with the government.

For the purpose of ascertaining the character of any intended public dramatic performance, the Dramatic Performances Act (19 of 1876) was passed as it was suspected that such performances may provoke people against the Government.

When the Indian language press became very bold the Vernacular Press Act 1878 was introduced. It was comprehensive and rigorous, aimed at “better control” of the language press. It empowered any magistrate of a district or a commissioner of police in a presidency town to call upon the printer and publisher of a newspaper to enter into a bond undertaking not to publish certain kind of material, to demand security, and to forfeit, if it was thought fit, such presses and confiscate any printed matter as it deemed objectionable. No printer or publisher against whom such action had been taken could have recourse to a court of law. It was particularly meant to crush Amrit Bazar Patrika, which was bilingual before this Act. But the smart owner foiled this attempt by turning it into an English language paper overnight. The main role in persuading Lord Lytton for the Vernacular Press Act was played by Sir Ashley Eden (1831-1887), the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. He was in a fit to crush the Amrita Bazar Patrika. Sir Ashley called the editor of the Amrita Bazar Patrika, Babu Shishir Kumar, and offered: “Let us three, I, you and Kristo Das, govern the province. Kriso Das has agreed to conduct his paper according to my direction… You will have to do the same thing. I shall contribute to your paper as I do to the Hindoo Patriot. And when you write an article criticizing the government you will have to submit the manuscript to me before publication. In return, the government will subscribe to a considerable number of your paper and I shall consult you as I consult Kristo Das in carrying on the administration of the province.” Babu Shishir Kumar thanked him and quietly remarked, “Your Honor, there ought to be at least one honest journalist in the land”. Sir Ashley himself remarked, “If there had been only one week’s delay on the part of the proprietors to convert the Patrika into English we would have dealt a deadly blow at it by demanding a heavy bail-bond from them.”

When Gladstone who had criticized the Vernacular Press Act, became the prime minister and Lord Ripon the governor-general, and even before the retirement of Sir Ashley Eden the repeal of Vernacular Press Act had become a foregone conclusion. The repealing bill was passed without discussion, on December 7, 1881.

In India telegraph was introduced in 1851 and was very useful to East India Company during 1857. However, the Indian Telegraph Act was passed in 1885. The Government had an exclusive privilege under this Act in respect of telegraph and power to grant licenses. The definition of the telegraph in this Act is very wide as it later covered all other means of communication depending on electromagnetic waves, thus including teleprinter, telephone, fax, radio, and television. It provides for interception of messages and takeover of licensed establishments by the Government in any public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

Section 19 of the Sea Customs Act 1878 gave power to the central government to prohibit or restrict the importation or exportation of goods into or out of India. Section 5 of the Telegraph Act 1885 gave power to the central government or provincial governments of an official specially authorized by the government to take possession of licensed telegraphs and to order interception of telegraphic messages which include as per section 3(1) of the Act telephone messages also. Section 25 of the Indian Post Office Act 1898 confers power on an officer of the post office to intercept during transmission by post goods which have been notified under section 19 of the Sea Customs Act or the import or export of which is otherwise prohibited. Section 26 of the Post Office Act provides the power of interception of postal articles on the same lines as section 5 of the Telegraph Act. Thus by the turn of the century, the government had wide-ranging powers to intercept anything anywhere along all the possible channels.

With Swadeshi Movement and partition of Bengal, the opposition of the Government reached its zenith, both in the press and the public. In June 1908 the government passed the Newspaper (Incitement to Offences) Act, which gave power to local authorities to take judicial action against the editor of any newspaper, which indulges in writings calculated to incite rebellion.

Nine prosecutions were instituted under this Act and as a result, seven presses were confiscated. Then came the Press Act of 1910, which empowered the government to demand security from any newspaper, a provision similar to what existed in the Vernacular Press Act.

British Parliament passed the Copyright Act in 1911. Similar provisions came to India by Indian Copyright Act, 1914 (3 of 1914). It was replaced by a comprehensive legislation only in 1957 by the new Copyright Act (14 of 1957).

In 1918 Government passed the Cinematograph Act (2 of 1918), which was replaced by the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952).

In 1921, the government appointed a committee, with Sir Tej B Bahadur Sapru (1875-1949) as chairman, to look into the then existing press laws. The committee unanimously recommended the repeal of the Newspaper (Incitement of Offences) Act 1908 and the India Press Act 1910. In regard to the Press and Registration of Books Act, the committee recommended that the name of the editor should be inscribed on every issue of the newspaper and the editor should be subjected to the same liabilities as the printer and publisher as regards criminal and civic responsibility, that a person registering under this Act should be a major, that the term of imprisonment in part IV of the Act should be reduced from two years to six months, and that provision should be made for delivery to government of copies of newspapers printed in British India. The committee advocated the retention of powers to seize and confiscated seditious leaflets and literature. It recommended that the ancillary powers of preventing importation and postal transmission of such literature should be retained. The requisite amendments were carried out by the Press Law (Repeal and Amendment) Act of 1922 (14 of 1922).

In 1922, on the request of the Chamber of Princes, the Princes Protection Bill was introduced in the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly rejected the bill. But the Governor-General, invoking treaty obligations and exercising his special powers under section 67B of the Government of India Act 1919, certified the Bill which became the Indian States (Protection against Disaffection) Act 1922.

This Act provided punishment of imprisonment up to 5 years for any person editing, printing or publishing any document which brings into hatred or contempt or excites disaffection towards any prince or chief of a state in India, or the government or administration established in any such state. For the material of this nature, the powers of forfeiture under sections 99-A to 99-C of the Criminal Procedure Code and of postal interception under sections 27-B to 27-D of the Indian Post Offices Act were made applicable.

In 1923 the Official Secrets Act was passed in order to update and consolidate the existing provisions of Indian Official Secrets Act of 1889, along with the lines of the British Acts of 1911 and 1920. The earlier Act was repealed. Section 5 of this Act, which affects the Press deals with “official secrets” and relates to “wrongful communication of information.”
To meet the situation posed by the civil disobedience movement of 1930, the government promulgated the Indian Press Ordinance to provide for “better control of the press”. This revived the stringent provisions of the repealed Press Act of 1910. Some 130 newspapers had to deposit securities, nine refused to do so and suspended publications. In 1931, the Indian Press (Emergency Powers) Act was passed.

In 1932 the Foreign Relations Act was passed with the object of providing against the publication of statements likely to prejudice the maintenance of friendly relations between the British government and the governments of certain foreign states. The powers of forfeiture under sections 99A-99G of the Criminal Procedure Code and the postal interception under sections 27B-27D of the Indian Post Offices Act were extended by section 3 of this Act to documents containing matter defamatory of such ruler or his consort of son or principal minister of a state outside but adjoining India.

Indian States (Protection) Act was passed in 1934 to protect the administrations of states in India, which were under the suzerainty of the British crown from activities, which tended to subvert or excite disaffection towards or to obstruct such administration.

Section 3 of this Act extended to Press Emergency Act Powers 1931 to protect these states.

Before Independence, the Interim Government appointed the Press Laws Enquiry Committee in March 1947, to examine the press laws. The Committee gave its report on 22 May 1948 after Independence and partition of India. After the report of this committee, the Act of 1931 was replaced by Press (Objectionable Matter) Act 1951. However, the mood was so much for freedom of the press that it was allowed to lapse in February 1956 and was repealed in 1957. The Indian Constitution gives every citizen fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression and the courts have interpreted that it includes freedom of the press.

A major setback to the freedom of the press in India was when Emergency was imposed in June 1975 and censorship was introduced. However, after the defeat of the then ruling party in 1977 General Elections, it has not been possible for anybody to follow the example. Press Council advised the Government not to put curbs on the press even in disturbed areas like Jammu and Kashmir. This policy appears to be better than the curbs on the press by Government.

Liberal ethos reinforced after 1977 has affected broadcasting as well. While demand for an autonomous corporation to control All India Radio and Doordarshan was accepted and finally Prasar Bharti, an autonomous corporation came into existence from 15 September 1997 after the notification of the Prasar Bharti Act. It has not been possible to come up with a regulator for broadcasting content despite several bills that came to Parliament over the years and private satellite and cable channels are having a field day enjoying more freedom than in any other part of the world.

Though the Government has not allowed news on private radio outfits yet, freedom of print and television channels make India one of the most liberal countries in the world as far as the freedom of media goes. Right to Information Act 2005 has been implemented and this has further extended freedom of media in India.

4. MEDIA LAWS OF INDIA – AN OVERVIEW
There are many laws that regulate the performance of media in India. Laws related to the mass media have been there since the very beginning. In the time of the British Raj, many laws related to the Press were enacted. In the post-Independence time, the various Governments have enacted many more media-related laws.

Media is a very powerful influence on the society is regulated and controlled by various legislations enacted from time to time.

Constitutional Provisions
The Indian Constitution does not provide freedom for media separately. But there is an indirect provision for media freedom. It gets derived from Article 19(1) (a). This Article guarantees freedom of speech and expression. The freedom of mass media is derived indirectly from this Article. Article 19 of our Constitution deals with the right to freedom and it enumerates certain rights regarding individual freedom of speech and expression etc. These provisions are important and vital, which lie at the very root of liberty.

Article 19 of the Indian constitution lays down –
“All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably, and without arms, to form associations or unions, to move freely throughout the territory of India, to reside in any part of the territory of India, to acquire hold and dispose of property and to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

However the right to freedom of speech and expression shall not affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the state from making any law insofar as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of that right in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public decency or morality or In relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to offence”.

List of Acts and Rules applicable to the media industry –
1. The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867
2. Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules, 1956
3. The Press and Registration Appellate Board (Practice and Procedure) Order, 1961
4. The Press Council Act, 1978
5. The Press Council Rules, 1979
6. The Press Council (Procedure for Nomination of Members) Rules, 1978
7. The Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) (Amendment) Regulations, 2006
8. The Press Council (Procedure for Conduct of Meetings and Business) Regulations, 1979
9. The Press Council of India (Grant of Certified Copies) Regulations, 1999
10. The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955
11. The Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Rules, 1957
12. The Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees Tribunal Rules, 1979
13. The Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958
14. The Newspaper (Prices and Pages) Act, 1956
15. The Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954
16. The Right to Information Act, 2005
17. The Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005

18. The Central Information Commission (Appeal Procedure) Rules, 2005
19. The Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations, 2007
20. The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954
21. The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Rules, 1955
22. The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950
23. The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Rules, 1982
24. State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005
25. State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules, 2007
26. The Parliamentary Proceedings (Protection of Publication) Act, 1977
27. The Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956
28. The Punjab Special Powers (Press) Act, 1956 (Relevant Provisions)
29. Copyright Act, 1957
30. The Dramatic Performances Act, 1876 (Relevant Provisions)
31. The Cinematograph Act, 1952
32. The Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983
33. The Cine-workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981
34. The Cine-Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Rules, 1984
35. The Cine-Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1981
36. The Cine-workers Welfare Cess Rules, 1984
37. The Cine-Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1981
38. The Cine-Workers Welfare Fund Rules, 1984
39. The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India ) Act, 1990
40. The Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007
41. The Sports Broadcast Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Rules, 2007

42. The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995
43. The Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994
44. The Radio, Television and Video Cassette Recorder Sets (Exemption from Licensing Requirements) Rules, 1997
45. The Standards of Quality of Service (Broadcasting and Cable services) (Cable Television – CAS Areas) Regulation, 2006
46. The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 (Relevant Provisions)
47. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997
48. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Miscellaneous) Rules, 1999
49. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Period for Filing of Application to Authority) Rules, 1999
50. The Telecommunication Interconnection (Port Charges) Regulation, 2001
51. The TRAI (Levy of Fees and Other Charges for Tariff Plans) Regulations, 2002
52. The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (Form, Verification and the Fee for Filing an Appeal) Rules, 2003
53. The Telecommunication Interconnection (Charges and Revenue Sharing) Regulation, 2001
54. The Telecommunication Interconnection Usage Charges Regulation, 2003
55. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Salaries, Allowances and Other Conditions of Service of Chairperson and Whole-time Members) Rules, 2000
56. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Procedure for Conducting Inquiry Against a Member) Rules, 1999
57. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Annual Report and Returns) Rules, 1999
58. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Form of Annual Statement of Accounts and Records) Rules, 1999
59. The Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) Interconnection Regulations, 2004
60. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Access to Information) Regulations, 2005

61. The Common Charter of Telecom Services, 2005
62. The Regulation on Quality of Service of Basic and Cellular Mobile Telephone Services, 2005
63. Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) Regulation, 2006
64. The Standards of Quality of Service (Broadcasting and Cable Services) (Cable Television – CAS Areas) Regulation, 2006
65. The Quality of Service of Broadband Service Regulations, 2006
66. The Telecom Consumers Protection and Redressal of Grievances Regulations, 2007
67. The Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations, 2007
68. The International Telecommunication Access to Essential Facilities at Cable Landing Stations Regulations, 2007
69. The Telecommunication Consumers Education and Protection Fund Regulations, 2007
70. The Direct to Home Broadcasting Services (Standards of Quality of Service and Redressal of Grievances) Regulations, 2007
71. Domestic Leased Circuits Regulations, 2007
72. The Register of Interconnect Agreements Regulations, 1999
73. The Indian Post Office Act, 1898 (Relevant Provisions)
74. The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Relevant Provisions)
75. The Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules, 2000

5. LAWS APPLICABLE FOR INFORMATION
The list of legislation applicable for Information –
i. Press & Registration of Books Act 1867
ii. Delivery of Books ‘and Newspapers’ (Public Libraries) Act, 1954
iii. Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Rules, 1955
iv. Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules 1956
v. The Newspaper (Prices and Pages) Act, 1956
vi. The Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956
vii. The Press and Registration Appellate Board (Practice and Procedure) Order, 1961
viii. The Parliamentary Proceedings (Protection of Publication) Act, 1977
ix. Press Council Act, 1978
x. The Press Council (Procedure for Nomination of Members) Rules, 1978
xi. The Press Council Rules, 1979
xii. The Press Council (Procedure for Conduct of Meetings and Business) Regulations, 1979
xiii. The Press Council of India (Grant of Certified Copies) Regulations, 1999
xiv. Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) (Amendment) Regulations, 2006
The following guidelines and policies are applicable for Information –
1) Central Newsmedia Acredition Guidelines, 1999
2) Guidelines for publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs

3) Guidelines for syndication arrangements by newspapers
4) Advertisement Policy
5) Electronic Media Advertisement Policy
6) Guidelines for Empanelment of Audio-Video Producers with DAVP
7) Policy guidelines for empanelment of private C&S TV Channels for government advertisements by DAVP and Other duly authorized agencies of the ministry of I&B
8) Citizens Charter of Registrar of Newspapers for India
9) Guidelines for foreign investment in Indian entities publishing Scientific /Technical /Specialty Magazines/Journals/Periodicals
10) Guidelines for foreign investment in print media news sector/facsimile editions.

11) The Press Council of India’s Norms of Journalistic Conduct
Press & Registration of Books Act, 1867 & The Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules 1956
The earliest surviving enactment specifically directed towards the press was passed in 1867, the Press and Registration of Books Act (PRB Act) (XXV of 1867). The objective was however not to establish governmental control over the freedom of the Press. It was a regulatory law which enabled Government to regulate printing presses and newspapers by a system of registration and to preserve copies of books and other matter printed in India. A number of minor amendments were made in the Act from time to time to make the Sections/Clauses compatible with the changing situation, more particularly after Independence. But major amendments were carried out in

1955 following the recommendations of the First Press Commission in 1953, consequent upon which the Office of the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RBI) was created and started functioning in 1956.

Printing and publishing of newspapers and periodicals within India are governed by the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 and the Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules, 1956.

Section 3 of the Act requires every book or paper printed within India to have the name of the printer and the place of printing, the name of the publisher and the place of publishing printed legibly on it.

Section 4 of the Act stipulates that the keeper of the printing press (someone who possesses a press that prints newspapers/books) has to make and subscribe a declaration before the District, Presidency or sub-divisional Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction the press is situated. A new declaration is to be made when the place where a press is kept is changed. The Declaration is to be made in Form I as given in the Schedule to the Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules, 1956.

Before making the declaration, Title Verification Letter should be obtained from the Press Registrar.

No new declaration is necessary when:-
1) The change is for a period not exceeding 60 days
2) The place where the press is kept after the change is within the local jurisdiction of the Magistrate.

Section 5 lays down the following rules for newspapers published in India:-
1) Every copy must have the names of the publisher and the editor along with the date of publication printed clearly on it.

2) The printer and the publisher of the newspaper must appear in person or by an authorized agent before a District, Presidency or Sub-divisional Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction the newspaper is published to make a declaration.

3) The declaration must specify the title, the language and the periodicity of the newspaper.

4) If the printer or the publisher is not the owner of the publication then the declaration must specify the name of the owner and an authority in writing from the owner authorizing the printer/publisher to make the declaration.

5) A new declaration must be made if the title, periodicity or language of the newspaper changes.

6) A new declaration is also to be made when the owner of the newspaper or the place of printing/publishing is changed.

7) When a printer/publisher concerned with the declaration leaves India or is incapable of rendering his/her duties for more than 90 days, a new declaration is to be made.

8) A declaration is considered void when the newspaper does not commence publication –
a. Within 6 weeks of the authentication of the declaration for a weekly (or more often published newspaper)
b. Within 3 months of authentication for any other newspaper
9) A declaration ceases to have effect when a daily, tri-weekly, bi-weekly weekly or fortnightly publishes half the number of issues it is supposed to in a period of 3 months; the same happens for any other newspaper if it has ceased publication for more than 12 months

Section 6 of the Act requires two originals of the declaration to be authenticated by the Magistrate. Any person who wishes to see the declaration can do so by obtaining a copy of the declaration (attested by the Seal of Court) from the officer-in-charge. One of the said originals should be deposited among the records of the office of the Magistrate, and the other deposited among the records of the High Court of Judicature or other principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction for the place where the said declaration should have been made.

According to Section 7, in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, the copy of the above-mentioned declaration can be held as sufficient evidence against the person whose name is subscribed to it.

Section 8 requires a new declaration by persons who have previously signed a declaration and have ceased to printers or publishers. It is also to be authenticated by a magistrate. The latter declaration will be held as evidence (as in Section 7) over a former declaration in legal proceedings.

Under Section 8A of the Act, if a person’s name is published incorrectly as the editor he may make a declaration that says so within two weeks of him/her realizing that his/her name is published. The person must appear before the District, Presidency or Sub-divisional Magistrate, and if the magistrate is satisfied that the declaration is true on making an inquiry he/she shall certify accordingly.

Section 8B provides for the cancellation of the declaration if the Magistrate is of the opinion that any declaration made in respect of a newspaper should be canceled; an opportunity must be given to the concerned person to show cause against the action taken.

A cancellation is ordered under the following circumstances:
1) The newspaper is published in contravention of the Act.

2) The newspaper has the same/ similar title to another newspaper of the same language or in the same state.

3) The printer or publisher has ceased to be so.

4) The declaration was made on false representation or on the concealment of any material.

It is possible to appeal against the order of the Magistrate. The aggrieved person must appeal to the Press and Registration Appellate Board within sixty days of the cancellation of the declaration.

Section 9 of the Act is about the delivery of books. Printed copies of the whole book along with the maps, prints and other engravings belonging to the book must be delivered by the printer for free of expense to the Government.

a) Every book must be delivered to the State Government within one calendar month after the book is delivered out of the press.

b) The State Government can require from the printer, not more than two copies one calendar year.

Under Section 11, the State Government should transmit the copy of the book mentioned in Section 9 Clause (b) to the Central Government. Section 11A requires the publisher of every newspaper in India to deliver one copy of every issue to the Press Registrar as soon as it published.

Section 18 of the Act requires the maintenance of a catalog of all books delivered to the Government called the Memoranda of Books. It is to be maintained by an officer the State Government appoints. The memoranda should contain the following particulars:-
1) The title of the book, the contents of the title page (with the translation of the title and contents in English if it is any other language).

2) The language in which it is written.

3) Name of the author, translator, and editor.

4) The subject.

5) Place of printing and place of publishing.

6) Name of the firm of the printer and publisher.

7) Date of the issue from the press.

8) The number of sheets/leaves/pages.

9) The size.

10) The edition.

11) The Price.

12) The number of copies of an edition.

13) Whether printed/cyclostyled or lithographed.

14) The name and residence of the proprietor of the copyright or of any portion of such copyright.

Section 19A provides for the appointment of the Registrar of Newspapers i.e. the Press Registrar and other officers by the Central Government.

The Press Registrar should maintain a register of newspapers that will contain the following particulars of all newspapers:-
1) The title
2) The language
3) The periodicity of publication
4) Names of the editors, publisher, and printer
5) Average number of pages per week
6) Number of days of publication in a year

7) Retail selling price per copy
8) Average number of copies printed, sold to the public and distributed for free
9) Name and address of the owner
Section 19D prescribes the duty of the publisher of every newspaper to furnish to the Press Registrar, an annual statement in Form II containing the above-mentioned particulars in respect of the newspaper. The penalty for failure to furnish annual statement is fine up to five hundred rupees. Section 14 of the Act also provides that any publisher making a false statement on conviction before a Magistrate may be punished by fine up to Rs. 2000/- and imprisonment for a term, which may extend to six months.

The Press Registrar should prepare an Annual Report containing a summary of the information obtained by him during the previous year in respect of the newspapers in India and give an account of the working of such newspapers and a copy of the report should be forwarded to the Central Government.

Procedure for registration of the newspaper
After publication of the first issue of the newspaper as provided under Section 5(5) of the Press and Registration of Books Act, the Registrar of Newspapers (RNI) must be requested to issue a certificate of registration to the newspaper. The checklist/guidelines for registration of newspapers/periodicals are as under:-
1. Documents required:
a. Photocopy of title verification letter issued by RNI.

b. Attested copy of Declaration authenticated by the DM/ADM/DCP /CMM/SDM as prescribed in form-I.

c. First issue indicating Volume – I and Issue-I.

d. An affidavit from the publisher for “No Foreign Tie-up” in the prescribed form
2. A separate declaration should be filed in case the printer and publisher are different or the place of publication and place of printing come under the jurisdiction of two different magistrates.

3. The first issue should indicate Volume-I and Issue-I, dateline, page number and the title in full prominently on the cover.

4. The publication should be brought out within six weeks (in case of daily/weekly) and three months (in case of another periodicity) from the date of authentication of Declaration.

5. The imprint line should contain the name of the Publisher, Printer, Owner, Printing press with complete address, Place of publication with complete address and the name of the editor.

If the documents are found to be complete in all respects and the publication is in order, the Press Registrar will enter the particulars of the newspaper in the register maintained by him and issue a Certificate of Registration to the publisher.

RNI does not accept incomplete applications for registration or issuing of the revised registration certificate. All pending applications for registration or revised registration will be processed only when all the complete and correct documents are submitted.

Check List of the required documents:-
For the Certificate of Registration:
a) Copy of title verification letter

b) Attested copy of the declaration duly filled in and authenticated by the District Magistrate /Addl. District Magistrate etc.

c) Affidavit for ‘No foreign tie up’ duly filled in and notarized.

d) The first Issue of publication brought out within 42 days in case of dailies and weeklies and 90 days for fortnightly and above.

e) Copy of the latest issue of the publication.

For a Revised certificate of registration:
Following documents are required on the basis of which Revised Registration Certificate is issued:
a) Original Certificate of Registration issued by the O/o Registrar of Newspapers for India and in case it is lost, he/she is required to submit the affidavit for loss of certificate duly filled in and notarized along with the IPO of Rs.5/-.

b) Attested copy of the latest declaration, duly filled in and authenticated by DM/ADM concerned.

c) Affidavit for No foreign tie-up, duly filled in and notarized.

d) The latest issue of the publication.

Fresh/Revised Certificates –
A fresh declaration is to be made in the case of any change in (a) title (b) language
(c) Periodicity (d) ownership (e) place of publication (f) place of printing (g) publisher and (h) printer. It will be necessary to apply to the Press Registrar for a revised certificate of registration. A revised certificate will not be necessary if the fresh declaration has been made under other circumstances.

The documents required are given below:
(a) An attested photocopy of the fresh declaration duly authenticated by the magistrate concerned etc. indicating the change(s).

(b) A copy of the latest issue of the publication with correct imprint line, title, and date line printed on each page of the publication.

(c) Original Certificate of registration issued by the office of RNI.

(d) If Original Certificate of Registration is lost, damaged, stolen etc., an affidavit duly signed by a magistrate, with a five rupee Indian Postal Order in favor of RNI has to be furnished.

(e) In case of change of ownership, attested photocopy of the transfer deed in respect of ownership, duly authenticated by the magistrate concerned, is also to be submitted.

(f) In case of change of title/language, a copy of the title verification letter is to be submitted.

(g) An affidavit for no foreign tie-up.

Duplicate Certificates
When the original certificate of registration is lost, damaged, or stolen, and if none of the circumstances requiring a fresh declaration as noted above exist, an application may be submitted to the Press Registrar for the issue of a duplicate certificate of registration with full details given on a separate sheet of paper. Please note that if the certificate has been lost or stolen, adequate documentary proof of having reported the matter to the concerned police authorities, such as a copy of the FIR or a copy of the complaint bearing their stamp/seal, would be necessary. The documents required are as follows:

(a) An affidavit to this effect duly authenticated by Notary or the Magistrate concerned under his signature and office seal.

(b) Attested photocopy of the latest declaration authenticated by the magistrate concerned.

(c) A copy of the latest issue of the publication with correct imprint line.

(d) An Indian Postal Order of Rs.5/- in favor of RNI.

(e) An affidavit for “No Foreign Tie Up”
Duties of a Publisher:
a) According to the Registration of Newspaper (central) Rules, 1956, within 48 hours of the publication of a newspaper, one copy of the issue is to be sent to the Press Registrar, either by post or by a messenger. In the case of multi-edition newspapers published under the same declaration, one copy of each edition is required to be sent if the retail selling price or the number of pages in an edition is different from another edition.

b) Every publisher should furnish to the Press Registrar an annual statement regarding the newspaper. The statement is to be in the format given as in Form II in the Schedule to the Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules, 1956. The statement will be on financial year basis, and it should reach the Press Registrar on or before the last day of May of the following year. Where the circulation of newspaper exceeds 2000 copies per publishing day, a certificate from a chartered accountant or a qualified auditor as given below Part B of the prescribed format is to be furnished along with the annual statement.

c) Every year, in the first issue after the last day of February, a statement regarding the ownership and other details of the newspaper should be published, in the format given as Form IV in the Schedule to the Registration of Newspapers (Central) Rules, 1956.

d) In the event a person ceases to be the printer or a publisher of the newspaper, he/she should appear before any Magistrate (District, Presidency, or Sub-Divisional) and make a declaration. The Magistrate will authenticate the declaration and an attested copy of the same is to be forwarded to Press Registrar by the printer/publisher.

e) The publisher/owner of a newspaper should submit half-yearly returns for the period ending 30th September by 31st October of the same year and annual returns for the period ending 31st March by 30th April, indicating the quantity of imported newsprint purchased and consumed during the relevant periods. The half-yearly return is to be certified by the publisher/owner and the annual return is to be certified by a Chartered Accountant. Failure to submit the returns in time or submission of false information will disqualify the newspaper for authentication of Certificate of Registration for import of newsprint.

The Newspaper (Price and Page) Act, 1956-
The Newspaper (Prices and Pages) Act, 1956 has been enacted to provide for the regulation of the prices charged for newspapers in relation to their pages and of matters connected therewith for the purpose of preventing unfair competition among newspapers so that newspapers can have fuller opportunities of freedom of expression. The Act empowers the central government to make orders providing for the regulation of the prices charged for newspapers in relation to their maximum or minimum number of pages, sizes or areas and for the space to be allotted for advertising and other related matters for the purpose of preventing unfair competition among newspapers so that newspapers generally and in particular, newspapers with smaller resources and those published in Indian languages can have fuller opportunities for freedom of expression. The Act also provides that the Central Government should before making any order, consult associations of publishers and such publishers likely to be affected by the order. The Act prohibits publication and sale of newspapers in contravention of any order made under the provisions of this Act.

The Press Council Act, 1978-
The Press Council Act, 1978 was enacted to establish a Press council for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the Press and for maintaining the standards of newspaper and news agencies in India. The Act established the Press Council of India which is a body corporate having perpetual succession, with effect from 1st March 1979. The Press Council of India is empowered to make observations in respect of the conduct of any authority including Government if considered necessary for the performance of its functions under the Act. The Council can warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist if it finds that a newspaper or a news agency has not complied with the standards of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or a working journalist has committed any professional misconduct.

Complaints against the Press:
It is open to any person to lodge a complaint with the Press Council against a newspaper for a breach of the recognized ethical canons of journalistic propriety and taste. The complainant need not necessarily be the person aggrieved or directly involved. The alleged breach may be in the publication or non-publication of a news-item or statement, or other material, like cartoons, pictures, photographs, strips or advertisement which are published in a newspaper. Cases can also be initiated by any member of the public against any professional misconduct by an editor, working journalist, staff of a newspaper or engaged in freelance work. There can also be a complaint against any matter transmitted by a news agency by any means whatsoever. By virtue of the Press Council (Procedure for Inquiry) Regulations, 1979, a complaint shall be lodged with the Council within the following periods:
(i) Dailies, News agencies, and Weeklies – within 2 months
(ii) In all other cases – within 4 months. Provided that a relevant publication of an earlier date may be referred to in the complaint.

Write to the editor first-
It is a requirement of the Inquiry Regulations that the complainant should initially write to the editor of the newspaper drawing his attention to what the complainant considers being a breach of journalistic ethics or an offense against public taste. Such prior reference to the editor affords him an opportunity to deal with the matter in the first instance and thus allows the respondent to take such remedial action as he might consider appropriate before the complaint is lodged with the Council. This rule is necessary because it acquaints the editor with the identity of his accuser and the details of the complaint. It is conceivable that in some instance the complainant has been wrongly informed or has misinterpreted the facts. In others, it may be a case of an inadvertent error which the editor is only too ready to admit and correct. If the would-be-complainant is satisfied, that would be the end of the matter.

Where, after referencing to the newspaper, the person desires to proceed with the complaint, he should enclose with his complaint copies of correspondence with the editor, if no reply has been received from the editor, the fact should be mentioned in the complaint.

The complainant has, in his complaint, to give the name and address of the newspaper, editor or journalist against whom the complaint is directed. A clipping of the matter or news-items complained of, in original or self-attested copy (English translation, if the news item(s) is in vernacular) should accompany the complaint. The complainant has to state in what manner the passage or news-items or the material complained of is objectionable. He should also supply other relevant particulars if any.

In case of a complaint against non-publication of material, the complainant will, of course, say how that constitutes a breach of journalistic ethics.

The Council cannot deal with any matter which is sub-judice in the court of law. The complainant has to declare that “to the best of his knowledge and belief he has placed all the relevant facts before the Council and that no proceedings are pending in any court of law in respect of any matter alleged in the complaint.” A declaration that ” he shall notify the Council forthwith if during the pendency of the inquiry before the Council any matter alleged in the complaint becomes the subject matter of any proceedings in a court of law” is also necessary.

Complaints regarding oppression to Press freedom-
A newspaper, a journalist or any institution or individual can complain against Central or State Government or any organization or person for interference with the free functioning of the press or encroachment on the freedom of the press. Such complaints should contain full particulars of the alleged infringement whereupon the Council shall follow the procedure of inquiry set out hereinabove so far as may be.

The opinion expressed by the Council serves two useful purposes, namely (i) that any abuse of press freedom does not pass without anybody noticing it or raising a finger of protest, and (ii) that the press should not in its own interest indulge in scurrilous or other objectionable writings-writings such as have been considered below the level of recognized standards of journalistic ethics by a fair-minded jury like the Council constituted of the press itself, for it would lead to the very loss of the much-prized freedom of the press.

Address of the respondent-
It is a requirement of the Inquiry Regulations that the complainant should draw the attention of the respondent(s)/authorities towards the grievances, state how the action/inaction of the respondent authorities amounts to curtailment of the freedom of the press, mention the possible reason for the action/inaction of the respondent(s)/authorities duly supported by documentary evidence and furnish a copy of the letter written to the respondent(s)/authorities.

In case the action of the respondent(s)/authorities is a reprisal measure for writings in the newspaper, critical of the respondent(s), the cuttings of such reports be furnished in original or as self-attested copies (English translation if the news item(s) is in vernacular.

Furnish a copy of the reply, if any received from the respondent(s)/authorities, provided that the Chairman may waive this requirement in his discretion.

By virtue of the Press Council(Procedure for Inquiry) Regulations, 1979, limitation of time is four months from the date of cause of action, provided that the Chairman may condone the delay if he is satisfied that there exist sufficient reasons for such condonation.

The Council cannot deal with any matter which is sub-judice in the court of law. The complainant has to declare that “to the best of his knowledge and belief he has placed all the relevant facts before the Council and that no proceedings are pending in any court of law in respect of any matter alleged in the complaint.” A declaration that ” he shall notify the Council forthwith if during the pendency of the inquiry before the Council any matter alleged in the complaint becomes the subject matter of any proceedings in a court of law” is also necessary.

Delivery of Books ‘and Newspapers’ (Public Libraries) Act, 1954
The Delivery of Books ‘and Newspapers’ (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 has been enacted to regulate delivery of Books to the National Library, Calcutta, and other public libraries. The Act provides that subject to any rules that may be made under the Act, but without prejudice to the provisions contained in Section 9 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the publisher of every book published in the territories to which this Act extends after the commencement of this Act should, despite any agreement to the contrary, deliver at his own expense a copy of the book to the National Library at Calcutta and one such copy to each of the other three public libraries within thirty days from the date of its publication. Regarding the delivery of newspapers to public libraries, the Act provides that subject to any rules that may be made under this Act, but without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Press and Registration of Books Act,1867, the publisher of every newspaper, published in the territories to which this Act extends, should deliver at his own expense one copy of each issue of such newspaper as soon as it is published, to each such public library as may be notified in this behalf by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.

Guidelines for publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs dated 4.12.2008-
Publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines, publishing news and comments on public news i.e. periodicals falling in the news and current affairs category, by Indian entities, with or without foreign investment is allowed. Entities/publishers of such editions would be eligible for attracting 26% foreign investment. The ceiling of total Foreign Direct Investment {which includes foreign direct investments by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and portfolio investments by recognized Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), together} is up to 26%, as per the consolidated FDI policy.

‘Magazine’ has been defined as ‘a periodical publication brought out on a non-daily basis containing public news or comments on the public news’.

Eligibility
Any Indian entity, with or without foreign investment, will be permitted to publish an Indian edition of a foreign magazine falling in the news and current affairs sector. Entities/Publishers of such editions would be eligible for attracting 26% foreign investment as per FDI Guidelines issued by this Ministry from time to time.

Verification of Title of the Publication and its Registration
The title of the magazine should be got verified and subsequently registered by the Indian entities/publishers from the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) under the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 and as per the prescribed procedure.

Conditions
• The publisher/owner of the foreign magazine of which Indian edition is proposed to be published should have sound credentials.

• Permission to publish such editions would be granted only to those entities/publishers which are registered as an Indian company with the Registrar of Companies under the provisions of the Indian Companies Act, 1956.

• The Indian companies would be allowed to enter into financial arrangements (such as royalty payment arrangements, etc.) with the owners of the foreign magazines subject to the rules and regulations of the Government of India issued on the matter from time to time.

• At least 3/4th of the Directors on the Board of Directors of the Applicant Indian Company and all key executives and editorial staff should be resident Indians.

• The applicant Indian company should frame its Articles/Memorandum of Association to ensure compliance with the prescribed eligibility criteria.

• 100% identical content of the foreign magazine concerned would be allowed and the Indian publisher would be free to add local content and advertisements.

• That permission may be granted for publication of only such magazines which are being published in the country of their origin with the approval of the regulatory authority of the respective Governments of those countries in cases where such approvals are granted by the Governments.

• That the proposed publication should have been published continuously for a period of at least 5 years, and the publication must have had a circulation of at least 10,000 paid copies in the last financial year in the country of its origin. The period of continuous publication and circulation must be certified by the respective Governmental authority of the country, and if there is no such Governmental authority regulating such matters, the certificate should be from respected and recognized agencies engaged in the business of certification.

• Any Indian company publishing Indian edition of foreign magazines in India will be subject to all the relevant laws and guidelines applicable to Indian news magazines and their publishers.

The applicant entity should make full disclosure, at the time of application, of the Licence Agreement/ Financial Arrangement with the foreign entity for publishing such Indian editions. Any subsequent change should be disclosed to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within fifteen days of such a change.

• The applicant company should inform the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within 15 days of effecting any changes in the composition of resident Indian Directors or key executives and editorial staff. Such a change would be subject to post facto approval of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

• The applicant company will be liable to intimate the names and details of any foreigners/NRIs/PIOs proposed to be employed/engaged in the Entity for more than 60 days in a year, either as Consultant or as regular employees or in any other capacity. The Entity will be liable to dispense with the services of such persons if subsequently not found security cleared.

• The applicant company should obtain prior clearance from the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of all persons not being resident Indians who are proposed to be inducted in the Board of Directors/Key Executives/Editorial Staff of the company.

• The applicant company should permit the Government agencies to inspect the facilities required for publishing Indian edition of a foreign magazine, as and when required.

• The Government of India, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will have the right to suspend/ withdraw/ cancel the permission of the company for a specified period or for the whole time if the conditions specified in the grant of permission is violated or in public interest or in the interest of national security. The company should immediately comply with the directives issued in this regard.

• The company should stop publication of the Indian edition of the magazine whenever approval for such publication is suspended/ withdrawn/ canceled by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Procedure for application
• Eleven copies of the prescribed application form, duly filled in, along with the requisite documents should be submitted to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

• Application fee of Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty thousand only) will have to be deposited through demand draft made in favor of Pay & Accounts Officer, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, payable at New Delhi.

• In case the original foreign magazine is in a language other than English/Hindi, the certified/ authenticated English transcripts of the magazine, one issue each for the last five years along with the original copy may be provided with the application.

• Certification/ authentication should be done by the publisher of the original foreign magazine.

All new applications for publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing in news and current affairs sector, will be processed and decided in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on the basis of inter-ministerial consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and other Ministries/Departments, as may be required.

6. LAWS APPLICABLE FOR BROADCASTING
The list of legislation applicable to Cable Network –
i. Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995
ii. Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994
The list of legislation related to Prasar Bharati –
I. Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990
II. Prasar Bharati Investment of Money Rules, 2007
The list of legislation related to Sports Broadcasting –
I. Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act, 2007 II. Sports Broadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Rules, 2007
The following guidelines and policies are applicable for Broadcasting –
i. Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Guidelines
ii. Direct to Home (DTH) Service Guidelines
iii. CRS (Community Radio Stations) Guidelines
iv. Uplinking guidelines
v. Policy guidelines for Downlinking of TV Channels
vi. FM Radio Phase-II
vii. Conditional Access System (CAS)
viii. Content Regulation on Private TV Channels
ix. Guidelines for providing Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS) broadcasting service in India

x. Advertisement of Political Nature on Radio
xi. Policy guidelines for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service in India
xii. Certification of film songs, film promos etc. for cable service
xiii. TRAI’s DTH Regulation
xiv. The Code of Advertising Practice of the Advertising Standards Council of India
xv. FM phase II Policy
xvi. Policy Guidelines for expansion of FM Radio broadcasting services through Private Agencies (Phase-III)
xvii. Policy Guidelines for setting up Community Radio Stations in India
xviii. Guidelines to regulate child participation in TV serials, reality shows, and advertisements
xix. Protection of identity of Children in Need of Care and Protection and juveniles in conflict with Law
The Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995-
The principal purpose of the Act was to introduce regulatory certainty to the cable market that had emerged in the early 1990s. The statement of objects and reasons declared that cable TV constituted a ‘cultural invasion’ as cable programs were predominantly western and alien to Indian culture and way of life. It declared that the lack of regulation had resulted in undesirable programs and advertisements being shown to Indian viewers without any censorship.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 was enacted for the purpose of regulating the operations of cable television networks in the country so as to bring uniformity in their operations, avoid undesirable programs from being made available to the viewers as well as to enable the optimal exploitation of the technology which had the potential of making available to the subscribers a vast pool of information and entertainment.

Section 3 of the Act makes it mandatory that, a cable television network can be operated only by a registered cable operator. In order to register, an entity could be-
– an Indian citizen
– an association of individuals whose members are Indian citizens
– a company in which not less than 51 percent of paid-up equity share capital is
held by Indian citizens
The Cable Networks Act empowers and authorizes a government officer to seize a cable operator’s equipment if the officer has reason to believe that the cable operator is functioning without proper registration.

The Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 were enacted under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Ordinance, 1994. The programming code under Rule 6 lays down restrictions on the content of both programmes and advertisements that can be shown on cable TV. No programme can be shown that:
? Offends against good taste or decency
? Contains criticism of friendly countries
? Contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes
? Contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths
? Is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote-anti-national attitudes
? Contains anything amounting to contempt of court
? Contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary
? Contains anything affecting the integrity of the Nation
? Criticizes, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country

? Encourages superstition or blind belief
? Denigrates women through the depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals
? Denigrates children
? Contains visuals or words which reflect a slandering, ironical and snobbish attitude in the portrayal of certain ethnic, linguistic and regional groups
? Is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition
Rule 7 deals with restrictions on advertisements. The Advertising Code in the Cable Network Rules says that all advertising carried in the cable service have to conform to the laws of the country and should not offend morality, decency and religious susceptibilities of the subscribers. The code says that no advertisement shall be permitted which:
• Derides any race, caste, color, creed, and nationality
• Is against any provision of the Constitution of India
• Tends to incite people to crime, cause disorder or violence, or breach of law or glorifies violence or obscenity in any way
• Presents criminality as desirable
• Exploits the national emblem, or any part of the Constitution or the person or personality of a national leader or a State dignitary
• In its depiction of women violates the constitutional guarantees to all citizens.

• Projects a derogatory image of women. The Rules say that women should not be portrayed in a manner that emphasizes passive, submissive qualities and encourages them to play a subordinate, secondary role in the family and society. The cable operator is supposed to ensure that the portrayal of the female form, in the programs carried in his cable service, is “tasteful and aesthetic, and is within the well-established norms of good taste and decency”.

• Exploits social evils like dowry, child marriage.

• Promotes directly or indirectly production, sale or consumption of cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants, infant milk substitutes, feeding bottle or infant food.

The Rules prohibit advertisements that-
• Are wholly or mainly of a religious or political nature or directed towards any religious or political end.

• Contain references that hurt religious sentiments.

• Contain references that are likely to lead the public to infer that the product advertised or any of its ingredients has some special or miraculous or super-natural property or quality, which is difficult of being proved.

• Contain pictures and audible matter of the advertisement that is excessively loud
• Endanger the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner
• Contain indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment
• Contain advertisements that violate the standards of practice for advertising agencies as approved by the Advertising Agencies Association of India, Bombay, from time to time.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2011-
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its recommendations dated the 5th August, 2010 on “Implementation of Digital Addressable Cable Systems in India” had, inter alia, recommended that “digitalization with addressability be implemented on priority in cable TV services in Non-CAS areas” and, accordingly, recommended a time-frame comprising four phases for switch over from analog system to the digital addressable system (DAS) in the cable TV sector. In view of the above-mentioned recommendations of the TRAI, the Central Government decided to introduce digitalization with addressability in the cable TV services in a phased time-bound manner on a pan India basis, leading to complete switch off of analog TV services by the 31st December 2014.

For the implementation of DAS, certain amendments were required to be made in the aforesaid Act mandating all cable operators to provide programmes of all channels, including free-to-air (FTA) channels, in an encrypted form through DAS in a phased manner at specified areas from specified dates to be notified by the Central Government. It is also mandatory that any such notification should give at least six months time to the cable operators for being able to install the necessary digital equipment for migration and educate the subscribers in this area. In order to protect the interest of consumers, it has been proposed to empower TRAI to specify a package of free-to-air channels, called basic service tier, which shall be offered by every cable operator to the consumers. It is also necessary that every cable operator should offer channels in the basic service tier on a la carte (individual) basis to consumers at a tariff fixed by TRAI.

It has also been considered necessary to carry out certain amendments in the Act for rectifying certain deficiencies noticed during the operation of the Act for the last fifteen years. These, inter alia, include systemization of registration of cable operators, providing the right of way to cable operators and permission by public authorities, compulsory transmission of certain channels, inspection of cable network services, prescription of interference standards by the Central Government and empowering the TRAI to specify basic service tier and its tariff.

The Act has come into force from the 25th day of December 2011.

Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990-
The introduction of the Prasar Bharati Bill in Parliament in May 1979 was the direct result of the recommendations of the B. G. Verghese Committee set up in 1977 after the Internal Emergency declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (1975-77). The Bill was allowed to lapse after the Janata party government elected to form the government after the Emergency collapsed and the Congress party returned to power.

The victory of the National Front government in 1989 saw the revival of the Prasar Bharati Bill in a somewhat modified form; the Bill was passed by Parliament and received presidential assent on September 12, 1990. The Act provided for the formation of an autonomous Broadcasting Corporation that would manage Doordarshan and AIR, discharging all powers previously held by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The corporation would inherit the capital assets of Doordarshan and AIR and would be managed by a 15-member Prasar Bharati Board, including the Directors-General of the two organizations and two representatives from amongst the employees. The Chair and other members of the Board would be appointed on the recommendations of the selection committee headed by the Vice President. A fifteen-member Broadcasting Council would address public complaints.

The primary duty of the Broadcasting Corporation was to ‘organize and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate, and entertain the public’ and to ensure ‘a balanced development’ of broadcasting of radio and television. The Corporation was to be guided by a set of objectives while discharging its functions. These include:
• Upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution
• Safeguarding the citizen’s right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own
• Paying special attention to the fields of education and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology.

• Providing adequate coverage to the diverse cultures and languages of the various regions of the country by broadcasting appropriate programmes.

• Providing adequate coverage to sports and games so as to encourage healthy competition and the spirit of sportsmanship.

• Providing appropriate programmes keeping in view the special needs of the youth.

• Informing and stimulating the national consciousness in regard to the status and problems of women and paying special attention to the upliftment of women.

• Promoting social justice and combating exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and advancing the welfare of the weaker sections of the society.

• Safeguarding the rights of the working classes and advancing their welfare
• Serving the rural and weaker sections of the people and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas.

• Providing suitable programmes keeping in view the special needs of the minorities and tribal communities.

• Taking special steps to protect the interests of children, the blind, the aged, the handicapped and other vulnerable sections of the people.

• Promoting national integration by broadcasting in a manner that facilitates communication in the languages in India, and facilitating the distribution of regional broadcasting services in every State in the languages of that State.

• Providing comprehensive broadcast coverage through the choice of appropriate technology and the best utilization of the broadcast frequencies available and ensuring high-quality reception.

• Promoting research and development activities in order to ensure that radio and television broadcast technology is constantly updated.

• Expanding broadcasting facilities by establishing additional channels of transmission at various levels.

• Ensuring that broadcasting is conducted as a public service to provide and produce programmes.

• Establishing a system for the gathering of news for radio and television;

• Negotiating for the purchase of, or otherwise acquire, programmes and rights or privileges in respect of sports and other events, films, serials, occasions, meetings, functions or incidents of public interest, for broadcasting and to establish procedures for the allocation of such programmes, rights or privileges to the services.

• Establishing and maintain a library or libraries of radio, television and other materials. Conducting or commissioning, from time to time, programmes, audience research, market or technical service, which may be released to such persons and in such manner and subject to such terms and conditions as the Corporation may think fit.

7. LAWS APPLICABLE FOR FILMS
The list of legislation applicable for films –
I. The Cinematograph Act, 1952
II. The Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983
The following guidelines and policies are applicable for Films –
1. Guidelines for import of films
2. Policy for import of Cinematograph films and other films.

3. Revised guidelines for shooting feature films in India by foreign nationals/co-productions.

4. Guidelines to certify Films (CBFC)
5. Policy for certification of films for Film festivals
Cinematograph Act, 1952
The Cinematograph Act of 1952 has been passed to make provisions for certification of cinematographed films for exhibition by means of Cinematograph. Under this Act, the Board of Film Censor (i.e. Central Board of Film Certification) with advisory panels at regional centers is empowered to examine every film and sanction it whether for unrestricted exhibition or for exhibition restricted to adults. The Board is also empowered to refuse to sanction a film for public exhibition.

The Certification process is in accordance with The Cinematograph Act, 1952, The Cinematograph (certification) Rules, 1983, and the guidelines issued by the Central government u/s 5 (B). At present films are certified under 4 categories –

• U – Unrestricted Public Exhibition
• UA – Unrestricted Public Exhibition – but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years
• A – Restricted to adults
• S – Restricted to any special class of persons
The Cinematograph Act lays down that a film should not be certified if any part of it is against the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite commission of any offence. Under section 5B(2) the Central Government has issued the following guidelines.

A film is judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impact and is examined in the light of the period depicted in the film and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to whom the film relates provided that the film does not deprive the morality of the audience. Guidelines are applied to the titles of the films also.

1. Objectives of Film Certification
i) the medium of the film remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society;
ii) artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed;
iii) certification is responsible for social changes;
iv) the medium of film provides clean and healthy entertainment; and
v) as far as possible, the film is of aesthetic value and cinematically of a good standard.

2. In pursuance of the above objectives, the CBFC shall ensure that
i) anti-social activities such as violence are not glorified or justified

ii) the modus operandi of criminals, other visuals or words likely to incite the commission of any offense are not depicted;
iii) scenes –
a. showing the involvement of children in violence as victims or perpetrators or as forced witnesses to violence, or showing children as being subjected to any form of child abuse.

b. showing abuse or ridicule of physically and mentally handicapped persons; and
c. showing cruelty to, or abuse of animals, are not presented needlessly
iv) pointless or avoidable scenes of violence, cruelty, and horror, scenes of violence primarily intended to provide entertainment and such scenes as may have the effect of de-sensitizing or de-humanizing people are not shown;
v) scenes which have the effect of justifying or glorifying drinking are not shown;
vi) scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorize drug addiction are not shown;
a. scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorize consumption of tobacco or smoking are not shown;
vii) human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity;
viii) such dual meaning words as obviously cater to baser instincts are not allowed;
ix) scenes degrading or denigrating women in any manner are not presented;
x) scenes involving sexual violence against women like an attempt to rape, rape or any form of molestation or scenes of a similar nature are avoided, and if any such incidence is germane to the theme, they shall be reduced to the minimum and no details are shown
xi) scenes showing sexual perversions shall be avoided and if such matters are germane to the theme they shall be reduced to the minimum and no details are shown.

xii) visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented
xiii) visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national attitude are not presented
xiv) the sovereignty and integrity of India is not called in question;
xv) the security of the State is not jeopardized or endangered
xvi) friendly relations with foreign States are not strained;
xvii) public order is not endangered
xviii) visuals or words involving defamation of an individual or a body of individuals, or contempt of court are not presented
EXPLANATION: Scenes that tend to create scorn, disgrace or disregard of rules or undermine the dignity of the court will come under the term ”Contempt of Court”: and
xix) national symbols and emblems are not shown except in accordance with the provisions of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (12 of 1950)
3. The Board of Film Certification shall also ensure that the film
i) Is judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impact; and
ii) Is examined in the light of the period depicted in the films and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to which the film relates provided that the film does not deprive the morality of the audience.

4. Films that meet the above – mentioned criteria but are considered unsuitable for exhibition to non-adults shall be certified for exhibition to adult audiences only.

5.

i) While certifying films for unrestricted public exhibition, the Board shall ensure that the film is suitable for family viewing, that is to say, the film shall be such that all the members of the family including children can view it together.

ii) If the Board, having regard to the nature, content, and theme of the film is of the opinion that it is necessary to caution the parents/guardian to consider as to whether any child below the age of twelve years may be allowed to see such a film, the film shall be certified for unrestricted public exhibition with an endorsement to that effect.

iii) If the Board having regard to the nature, content, and theme of the film, is of the opinion that the exhibition of the film should be restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, the film shall be certified for public exhibition restricted to the specialized audiences to be specified by the Board in this behalf.

6. The Board shall scrutinize the titles of the films carefully and ensure that they are not provocative, vulgar, offensive or violative of any of the above-mentioned guidelines.

The Central Board of Film Certification is responsible for certifying films. The enforcement of compliance with the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 is entrusted to the State Governments /Union Territory Administrations, since exhibition of films is a State subject.

The following are the major violations that agitate the minds of the public:
• exhibition of an ””A”” certified film to a non-adult;
• exhibition of a””S”” certified film to persons other than those for whom it is meant;
• exhibition of a film in a form other than the one in which it was certified. Such violations are known as interpolations. Interpolations can be described as follows –
O re-insertion in the prints of a film, those portions which were deleted by the Board while certifying the film
O insertion in prints of a film, portions of which were never shown to the Board for certification
O exhibition of ””bits”” unconnected with the certified film

• exhibition of a film which was refused a certificate (or ””banned”” in common parlance)
• exhibition of uncertified films with forged certificates of other films
• exhibition of films without CBFC certificate
Violations of Cinematograph act and penalties –
Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act provides penalties for violation of censorship provisions. A penalty can also be imposed for failure to comply with section 6A which requires that any person delivering a film to an exhibitor or a distributor will also give to him details of all cuts, certification, title, length, and conditions of certification.

A person guilty of violation while exhibiting celluloid films is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to Three years, or with fine which may extend to Rs.1/-lakh, or with both, and with a further fine up to Rs.20,000 for each day for a continuing offense. Similarly, Showing of video films which violate the rules in the manner prescribed in this section will attract imprisonment of not less than three months but which may extend to three years and a fine of not less than Rs.20,000 but which may extend to Rs.1/-lakh and a further fine up to Rs.20,000 for each day for a continuing offence.

Furthermore, the trial court can direct that the offending film is forfeited to the Government. Under Section 7A, any police officer can enter a hall where an offending film is being screened, search the premises and seize the print. Films can also be seized when they are likely to be exhibited in violation of Cinematograph Act.

8. OTHER LAWS APPLICABLE TO MEDIA 8.1. FDI in the media sector
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is that investment, which is made to serve the business interests of the investor in a company, which is in a different nation distinct from the investor’s country of origin.

FDI in India is governed by the Consolidated FDI Policy issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

Print Media
S.No. Activity % of FDI cap/equity Entry route

1 Publishing of Newspaper and 26% (FDI and Government
periodicals dealing with news and investment by
current affairs NRIs/PIOs/FII)

2 Publication of Indian editions of 26% (FDI and Government
Foreign Magazines dealing with investment by the news and current affairs NRIs/PIOs/FII)

3 Publishing/printing of Scientific 100% Government
and Technical Magazines/
specialty journals/ periodicals,
subject to compliance with the
legal framework as applicable
and guidelines issued in this
regard from time to time by
Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting.

4 Publication of facsimile edition 100% Government
of foreign newspapers

FDI should be made by the owner of the original foreign newspapers whose facsimile edition is proposed to be brought out in India. Publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers can be undertaken only by an entity incorporated or registered in India under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. Foreign investment would also be subject to the Guidelines for Publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on 4.12.2008. Publication of facsimile edition of a foreign newspaper would also be subject to the Guidelines for publication of newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs and publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on 31.3.2006, as amended from time to time.

Broadcasting
Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) Broadcasting Service refers to the multichannel downlinking and distribution of television programme in C-Band or Ku Band wherein all the pay channels are downlinked at a central facility (Hub/teleport) and again uplinked to a satellite after encryption of channel. At the cable headend, these encrypted pay channels are downlinked using a single satellite antenna, transmodulated and sent to the subscribers by using a land-based transmission system comprising of the infrastructure of cable/optical fibers network.

All the activities related to uplinking will be further subject to the condition that the Company permitted to uplink the channel should certify the continued compliance of this requirement through the Company Secretary at the end of each financial year.

FDI for Up-linking TV Channels will be subject to compliance with the Up-linking Policy notified by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

8.2. Labor-related legislation
Generally, all labor-related legislation are applicable for people working in the media sector. But there is certain specific labor legislation that regulates the conditions of employment in this sector. A few of them have been discussed hereunder –
The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955, and, The Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Rules, 1957
The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 provides for regulation of certain conditions of service of working journalists and other persons employed in newspaper establishments. The Act provides that for the purpose of fixing or revising rates of wages in respect of working journalists, the Central Government shall constitute Wage Board as and when necessary. The Central Government has set up a central-level monitoring committee in the Ministry of Labour to oversee the implementation of wage board’s recommendations. After receipt of the recommendations of the Board, the Central Government is required to make an order in terms of recommendations and this order becomes applicable on the class of newspaper establishments for which the Board has recommended.

All the Assistant Labour Commissioners of the Labour Department have been appointed Inspectors for carrying out the enforcement work under the Act for their respective districts. Deputy Labour Commissioners have been authorized for the recovery of the amount due to the newspaper employees under the provisions of the Act. The amount can be recovered by the issue of a certificate for the amount to the Collector, for recovery of the amount as arrears of land revenue. The penalty provided for violation of any of the provisions of the Act or any rule made thereunder is punishment with a fine which may extend to Rs. 200/- and Rs. 500/- for a subsequent violation.

Working Journalist is a person whose principal avocation is that of a journalist and who is employed either whole time in one or more newspaper establishments and includes an editor, a leader-writer, news editor, sub-editor, feature writer, copy tester, reporter, correspondent, cartoonist, news photographer, and proof reader, but does not include any such person who — (i) is employed mainly in a managerial or administrative capacity; or (ii) being employed in a supervisory capacity, performs, either by the nature of the duties attached to his office or by reason of the powers vested in him, function mainly of a managerial nature. (Section 2 (f))
Newspaper means any printed periodical work containing public news or comments on public news and includes such other class of printed periodical work as may, from time to time, be notified in this behalf by the Central Government in the Official Gazette. (Section 2(b))
Newspaper establishment means an establishment under the control of any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not, for the production or publication of one or more newspaper or for conducting any news agency or syndicate; and includes newspaper establishments specified as one establishment under the Schedule. Explanation: – For the purposes of this clause-
(a) different departments, branches, and centers of newspaper establishments shall be treated as parts thereof,
(b) a printing press shall be deemed to be a newspaper establishment if the principal business thereof is to print newspaper. (Section 2(d)
Important provisions of the Act-
The provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act will apply to the working journalist with some modifications. The period of notice referred in the ID Act in relation to the retrenchment has been enhanced to six months in the case of the editor and three months in the case of other working journalists. (Section 3)
The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 is made applicable to every newspaper establishment wherein twenty or more newspaper employees are employed. (Section 14)
Gratuity is payable to working journalists who have put in a minimum service of three years. (Section 5)

The Employees’ Provident Fund Act 1952 is applicable to every newspaper establishment in which twenty or more persons are employed on any day. (Section 15)
No working journalist will be required or allowed to work more than 144 hours in four consecutive weeks. The total working hours in a day should not exceed six hours and in the case of night shift shall be 5½ hours only. They shall be given one day off in a week. These provisions will not be applicable to editors, or to correspondents, reporters or news photographers. (Section 6 & Rule 7)
A working journalist is entitled to 10 holidays in a year and is also entitled to for a compensatory holiday within a period of 30 days in lieu of attending on a holiday.

A working journalist is entitled to 15 days casual leave and one month earned leave. The earned leave can be accumulated up to 90 days in every year. A female working journalist is entitled to three months maternity leave on full wages on the production of medical certificate. The leave and other service conditions in respect of non-journalists are regulated as per the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948.

The following registers and records are liable to maintain by the employer in respect of the working journalists –
• Register of employees in Form-D
• Service register of all working journalists, in Form-E
• Leave register of the working journalist in Form-F
• Muster roll in form-G

The Cine-workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981 & the Cine-workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Rules, 1984
The Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers (Regulation of Employment) Act, 1981 provides for the regulation of the conditions of employment of certain cine-workers and cinema theatre workers and related matters thereto.

‘Cinema theatre’ means a place which is licensed under Part III of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, or under any other law for the time being in force in a State for the exhibition of a cinematograph film.

A cine-worker is an individual who is employed, directly or through any contractor or another person, in or in connection with the production of a feature film to work as an artist
(including actor, musician or dancer) or to do any work, skilled, unskilled, manual, supervisory, technical, artistic or otherwise and whose remuneration with respect to such
employment in or in connection with the production of such feature film does not exceed, where such remuneration is by way of monthly wages, a sum of one thousand six hundred rupees per month, and where such remuneration is by way of a lump sum, a sum of fifteen thousand rupees.

Producer, in relation to a feature film, means the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of such film (including the raising of finances and engaging cine-workers for the making of such film) are undertaken.

The Act prohibits the employment of any cine-worker without an agreement in writing with the producer of the film or where any cine-worker is employed through a contractor or other person, with the producer of such film and such contractor or another person. Such agreement should be registered with the competent authority notified under the law by the producer of the film. The Agreement should be in Form A as given under the Rules. Whoever contravenes this provision will be punishable with fine, not less than Rs.10,000 but which may extend to Rs.50,000.

The Act provides safeguards to low paid artists and technicians engaged in the production of feature films with regard to their terms and conditions of employment, payment of wages and provision of other amenities.

The provisions of the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 will apply to every cinema theatre in which five or more workers are employed on any day.

The provisions of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 will apply to every worker employed in a cinema theatre in which five or more workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months.

In case of any dispute regarding breach of the terms and conditions of the agreement, a cine-worker may approach the Conciliation Officer for mediation. The Conciliation Officer will investigate the dispute and all matters affecting the merits and the right settlement and induce the parties to come to a fair and amicable settlement.

8.3. IPR
The IPR issues relating to content for all media segments are very vast and cover a wide range from the rights of content creators to the issue of the difficulty of licensing of content.

The main Intellectual Property Rights legislation related to media sector is the Copyright Act of 1957 and Copyright Rules, 1958 and the International Copyright Order, 1999.

Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity.

What is Copyright?
According to Section 14 of the Act, “copyright” means “the exclusive right subject to the provisions of this Act, to do or authorize the doing of any of the following acts in respect of a work or any substantial part thereof, namely:-
(a) in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work, not being a computer programme, –
(i) to reproduce the work in any material form including the storing of it in any medium by electronic means;
(ii) to issue copies of the work to the public not being copies already in circulation;
(iii) to perform the work in public, or communicate it to the public;
(iv) to make any cinematograph film or sound recording in respect of the work;
(v) to make any translation of the work;
(vi) to make an adaptation of the work;
(vii) to do, in relation to a translation or an adaptation of the work, any of the acts specified in relation to the work in sub-clauses (i) to (vi);
(b) in the case of a computer programme:-
(i) to do any of the acts specified in clause (a);
(ii) to sell or give on commercial rental or offer for sale or for commercial rental any copy of the computer programme:
Provided that such commercial rental does not apply in respect of computer programmes where the programme itself is not the essential object of the rental.

(c) in the case of an artistic work,-
(i) to reproduce the work in any material form including depiction in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work or in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work;
(ii) to communicate the work to the public;
(iii) to issue copies of the work to the public not being copies already in circulation;
(iv) to include the work in any cinematograph film;
(v) to make an adaptation of the work;
(vi) to do in relation to an adaptation of the work any of the acts specified in relation to the work in sub-clauses (i) to (iv);

(d) In the case of cinematograph film –
(i) to make a copy of the film, including a photograph of an image forming a part thereof;
(ii) to sell or give on hire, or offer for sale or hire, any copy of the film, regardless of whether such copy has been sold or given on hire on earlier occasions;
(iii) to communicate the film to the public;
(e) In the case of sound recording, –
(i) to make any other sound recording embodying it;
(ii) to sell or give on hire, or offer for sale or hire, any copy of the sound recording regardless of whether such copy has been sold or given on hire on earlier occasions;
(iii) to communicate the sound recording to the public.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section, a copy which has been sold once shall be deemed to be a copy already in circulation.

Classes of works for which copyright protection is available:
Indian Copyright Act affords separate and exclusive copyright protection to the following 7 clauses of work:
1. Original Literary Work
2. Original Dramatic Work
3. Original Musical Work
4. Original Artistic Work
5. Cinematograph Films
6. Sound recording
7. Computer ProgrammeCopyright will not subsist in any cinematograph film if a substantial part of the film is an infringement of the copyright in any other work or in any sound recording made in respect of a literary, dramatic or musical work if in making the sound recording, copyright in such work has been infringed.

Ownership of Copyright-
The author of the work will be the first owner of the copyright in the following instances:
i. In the case of a literary, dramatic or artistic work made by the author in the course of his employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship, for the purpose of publication in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, the said proprietor will, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first

owner of the copyright in the work in so far as the copyright relates to the publication of the work in any newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, or to the reproduction of the work for the purpose of its being so published, but in all other respects the author will be the first owner of the copyright in the work.

ii. In the case of a photograph taken, or a painting or portrait drawn, or an engraving or a cinematograph film made, for valuable consideration at the instance of any person, such person will, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.

iii. In the case of a work made in the course of the author’s employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the employer will, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.

iv. In the case of any address or speech delivered in public, the person who has delivered such address or speech or if such person has delivered such address or speech on behalf of any other person, such other person will be the first owner of the copyright therein notwithstanding that the person who delivers such address or speech, or, as the case may be, the person on whose behalf such address or speech is delivered, is employed by any other person who arranges such address or speech or on whose behalf or premises such address or speech is delivered.

v. In the case of a government work, the government in the absence of any agreement to the contrary will be the first owner of the copyright therein.

vi. In the case of a work made or first published by or under the direction or control of any public undertaking, such public undertaking in the absence of any agreement to the contrary will be the first owner of the copyright therein.

vii. In case of any work which is made or first published by or under the directions or control of an international organization, such international organization will be the first owner of the copyright therein.

The term of copyright-
Copyright generally lasts for a period of sixty years.

In the case of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, the sixty year period is counted from the year following the death of the author.

In the case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and public undertakings and works of international organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.

In case of the Broadcast reproduction right – 25 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the broadcast is made.

In case of Performers right – 25 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the performance is made.

Rights of Broadcasting Organization and of Performers:
Every broadcasting organization will have a special right to be known as ‘broadcast reproduction right’ in respect of its broadcasts. The broadcast reproduction right will subsist until twenty-five years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the broadcast is made. This would prevent any person other than the broadcasting organization from:
i) Re-broadcasting what has already been broadcasted
ii) Causing the broadcast to be seen or heard by the public on payment of charges
iii) Making any sound/visual recording of the broadcast
iv) Making any reproduction of such sound recording or visual recording where such initial recording was done without a license or, where it was licensed, for any purpose not envisaged by such license
v) Selling or hiring or offering to sell or hire sound/visual recordings.

Where any performer appears or engages in any performance, he will have a special right known as the ‘performer’s right’ in relation to such performance. The performer’s right will subsist until fifty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the performance is made. These rights are:
i) No person may make a sound/visual recording of the performer’s performances
ii) Reproduce a sound/visual recording
iii) Broadcast the performance
iv) Communicate to the public otherwise than by broadcast
No broadcast reproduction right or performer’s right will be deemed to be infringed by:-
• The making of any sound recording or visual recording for the private use of the person making such recording, or solely for purposes of bona fide teaching or research; or
• The use, consistent with fair dealing, of excerpts of a performance or of a broadcast in the reporting of current events or for bona fide review, teaching or research; or
• Such other acts, with any necessary adaptations and modifications, which do not constitute the infringement of copyright under the Act.

Copyright Societies
Collective administration of copyright by societies is a concept where management and protection of copyright in works are undertaken by a society of owners of such works. Obviously, no owner of a copyright in any work can keep track of all the uses others make of his work. When he becomes a member of a national copyright society, that society, because of its organizational facilities and strength, is able to keep a better vigil over the uses made of that work throughout the country and collect due royalties from the users of those works.

Because of the country’s membership in international conventions, the copyright societies are able to have reciprocal agreements with similar societies in other countries for collecting royalties for the uses of Indian works in those countries. From this, it can automatically be inferred that it will be in the interests of copyright owners to join a collective administration organization to ensure better protection to the copyright in their works and for reaping optimum economic benefits from their creations. Users of different types of works also find it easy to obtain licenses for legal exploitation of the works in question, though the collective administrative society.

A copyright society is a registered collective administration society under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957. Such a society is formed by copyright owners. The minimum membership required for registration of a society is seven. Ordinarily, only one society is registered to do business in respect of the same class of work. A copyright society can issue or grant licenses in respect of any work in which copyright subsists or in respect of any other right given by the Copyright Act. The following are the registered copyright societies in India:
i. For cinematography and television films: Society for Copyright Regulation of Indian Producers for Film and Television (SCRIPT) 135 Continental Building, Dr. A.B. Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 018;
ii. For musical works: The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS), 208, Golden Chambers, 2nd Floor, New Andheri Link Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai- 400 058 (Website: http://www.iprs.org/);
iii. For sound recording: Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) Flame Proof Equipment Building, B.39, Off New Link Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400 053 (Website: http://www.pplindia.org/);
iv. For reprographic (photocopying) works: Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO), 18/1-C, Institutional Area, Near JNU Campus, New Delhi – 110067, (Website: http://www.irro.in/)

8.4. Telegraph Act ; Wireless Telegraphy Act
Broadcasting in India is governed by the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and by the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933.

The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 gives the Government of India (GOI) exclusive rights for the establishment and working of telegraphy using electromagnetic waves. Governance of broadcasting has its basis in the powers bestowed on the GOI by this Act.

According to the Act, “telegraph” means any appliance, instrument, material or apparatus used or capable of use for transmission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, visual or other electromagnetic emissions, Radio waves or Hertzian waves, galvanic, electric or magnetic means. “Radio waves” or “Hertzian waves” means electromagnetic waves of frequencies lower than 3,000 giga-cycles per second propagated in space without artificial guide. Judicial decisions have also held that the term ‘telegraph’ includes the term telephone, television, radio, wireless, mobile and video equipment.

Section 4(1) of the Telegraph Act states that the Central Government has the exclusive privilege of establishing, maintaining, and working telegraphs within India. Section 5(1) of the Telegraph Act authorizes the Central Government to take temporary possession of a telegraph in cases involving public emergencies or public safety. Section 5 (2) enables the government to lawfully intercept telegraph messages on certain grounds. These include India’s sovereignty and integrity, state security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, and preventing the commission of an offense. Section 8 of the Telegraph Act empowers the government to revoke a telegraph license for breach of any terms and conditions or for a default in making license-fee payments.

Broadcasting means “the dissemination of any form of communication like signs, signals, writing, pictures, images, and sounds of all kinds, by transmission of electromagnetic waves through space or through cables intended to be received by the general public either directly or indirectly through the medium of relay stations and all its grammatical variations and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly.

To offer most forms of broadcasting, a broadcaster must have two licenses: 1) a general license from the MIB to offer telegraph services (under the Telegraph Act), and 2) a wireless operating license from the Wireless Planning and Communication (WPC) Wing of the Department of Telecom, (under the Wireless Telegraphy Act).

Most radio and television services are also regulated by the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act (No 17 of 1933), as they constitute ‘wireless communications’. Section 2(2) and Section 3 regulate wireless communication by requiring users of various types of wireless equipment to obtain wireless licenses for possessing and using the equipment. These licenses are granted by the WPC (Wireless Planning & Coordination Authority) Wing of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Therefore, to offer most kinds of broadcasting services, a broadcasting company must obtain two types of licenses:
• A Grant of Permission (GOPA) to offer broadcast services issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Telegraph Act, 1885.

• A wireless operating license from the WPC (Wireless Planning & Coordination Authority) Wing of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology under the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933.

9. AUTHORITIES REGULATING THE MEDIA INDUSTRY
i) Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – Government Of India http://www.mib.nic.in/default.aspx
The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, through the mass communication media consisting of radio, television, films, the press, publications, advertising and traditional mode of dance and drama plays a significant part in helping the people to have access to free flow of information. It also caters to the dissemination of knowledge and entertainment to all sections of society, striking a careful balance between public interest and commercial needs, in its delivery of services. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is the apex body for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to information, broadcasting, the press and films. This Ministry is responsible for international co-operation in the field of mass media, films and broadcasting and interacts with its foreign counterparts on behalf of Government of India. The mandate of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is:
• News Services through All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) for the people
• Development of broadcasting and television.

• Import and export of films.

• Development and promotion of film industry.

• The organization of film festivals and cultural exchanges for the purpose.

• Advertisement and visual publicity on behalf of the Government of India.

• Handling of press relations to present the policies of Government of India and to get feedback on the Govt. policies.

• Administration of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 in respect of newspapers.

• Dissemination of information about India within and outside the country through publications on matters of national importance.

• Research, Reference, and Training to assist the media units of the Ministry to meet their responsibilities.

• Use of interpersonal communication and traditional folk art forms for information/ publicity campaigns on public interest issues.

• International co-operation in the field of information & mass media.

The following comes under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting –
1) Broadcasting policy and administration
2) Cable television policy
3) Radio
4) Doordarshan5) Films
6) Advertising and visual publicity
7) Press
8) Publications
9) Research and reference
10) Various subordinate, autonomous organisations, public sector undertakings
ii) Press Information Bureau:
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) is the nodal agency of the Government to disseminate information to the print and electronic media on government policies, programmes, initiatives, and achievements. It functions as an interface between the Government and the media and also provides feedback to the Government on people’s reaction as reflected in the media.

PIB has its Headquarters in New Delhi. It is headed by the Principal Director General (Media ; Communication) who is assisted by a Director General and eight Additional Director Generals. Besides, the Bureau has Officers in the ranks of Director, Joint Director, Dy. Director, Assistant Director and Media ; Communication Officer who are attached with different Ministries in order of their rank and Ministry’s size, importance and sensitivity.

PIB has a dedicated unit for the publicity and media support to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The unit functions on a 24X7 basis and compiles media reports on all days including holidays for PMO and Cabinet Secretariat.

iii) Directorate of Advertising ; Visual Publicity:
The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), established in 1955, is the nodal multi-media advertising agency of the Government of India. Over the past 56 years, it has been catering to the communication needs of almost all central Ministries/Departments, autonomous bodies and PSUs by providing them single-window cost-effective service. It informs and educates the people, both rural and urban, about the government’s policies and programmes and motivates them to participate in developmental activities, through its various vehicles of communication, viz, Print media advertising, Audio Visual advertising, printed publicity, exhibitions, outdoor publicity and mass mailing.

The DAVP is headed by Director General who is assisted by 2 Additional Director Generals and other officials. At it’s headquartered it consists of a Campaign Wing. Advertising Wing, Printed Publicity Wing, Exhibition Wing, Electronic Data Processing Center, Mass Mailing Unit, Audio-Visual Cell, a Design Studio and Administration and Accounts Wings.

iv) Registrar of Newspapers for India:
The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India, more popularly known as RNI came into being on 1st 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 contain the duties and functions of the RBI. 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. Some of the functions are –
• Compilation and maintenance of a Register of Newspapers containing particulars about all the newspapers published.

• The issue of Certificate of Registration to the newspapers published under valid declaration;
• Scrutiny and analysis of annual statements sent by the publishers of newspapers every year under Section 19-D of the Press and Registration of Books Act containing information on circulation, ownership etc;
• Informing the District Magistrates about the availability of titles, to intending publishers for filing declaration;
• Ensuring that newspapers are published in accordance with the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867 and the Rules made thereunder.

• Verification under Section 19-F of the PRB Act, of circulation claims furnished by the publishers in their Annual Statements; and
• Preparation and submission to the Government on or before 31st December 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.

• 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.

v) Directorate of Field Publicity:
Directorate of Field Publicity with its headquarters in New Delhi is the largest rural oriented interpersonal communication medium in the country. It operates as a two-way channel for dissemination of information among masses and gathering feedback for the Government. It acts as a bridge between the people and the Government. Established in 1953 as ‘Five Year Plan Publicity Organization’ with the sole objective of publicity of Five Year Plans, the Directorate assumed its present format and role in 1959 with its publicity scope widened and made all inclusive. Over the years, its areas of operation as also its aims and objectives have been diversified. Briefly, they are:- (a) to inform, educate, motivate and involve the people, especially at the grass root level, in the process of development so that the vision of the framers of the Constitution as outlined in its preamble is realized. (b) to generate public opinion for the implementation of developmental programmes and mobilize popular participation in the process of nation-building. (c) to keep the public, especially the weaker, the marginalized and the remotely placed people informed about the policies and the programme of the Government and generate awareness on several national and social issues of relevance. (d) to keep the Government informed of the people’s reactions to its programmes and policies and their implementation at the field level thereby facilitating corrective measures as and when required.

vi) Press Council of India:
Press Council is a statutory quasi-judicial authority mandated by the Parliament to preserve the freedom of the press and maintain and improve the standards of newspapers and the news agencies in India. It is an autonomous body with equal quasi-judicial authority over the authorities and the presspersons.

The Council discharges its functions primarily through adjudications on complaint cases received by it, either against the Press for violation of journalistic ethics or by the Press for interference with its freedom. Where the Council is satisfied, after inquiry, that a newspaper or a news agency has offended against the standards of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or working journalist has committed any professional misconduct, the Council may warn, admonish or censure them or disapprove of their conduct. The Council is also empowered to make such observations as it may think in respect of the conduct of any authority, including Government, for interfering with the freedom of the press. The decisions of the Council are final and cannot be questioned in any court of law.

The Press Council of India has been entrusted by the Parliament with the additional responsibility of functioning as an Appellate Authority under Section 8 (c) under the PRB Act 1867 and the Appellate Board comprising of the Chairman of the Council and another member meet regularly to hear the Appeals before it.

vii) Film Certification Appellate Tribunal
The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) is a statutory body, constituted vide Section 5D of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The Tribunal hears the appeals filed under Section 5C of the Act under which any applicant for a Certificate in respect of a film who is aggrieved by an order of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), can file an Appeal before the Tribunal. The Tribunal has its headquarters in New Delhi. The Tribunal has a Secretary to look after its day to day affairs.

viii) Central Board of Film certification:
Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with its headquarters at Mumbai is responsible for certifying the films produced in India as well as outside the country suitable for public exhibition. The Board gives four categories of certificates “U” for an unrestricted public exhibition, “A” for public exhibition restricted to adults only, “UA” for unrestricted public exhibition with parental guidance for children below the age of 12 and “S” for exhibition to a restricted audience such as doctors etc. These certificates are issued through the Regional Offices of the Board located at Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Cuttack, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram. Appeal against the decision of the Board lies with the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. The enforcement of the penal provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 is with the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, since exhibition of films is a State subject.

ix) The Advertising Standards Council of India:
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry. It was set up in October 1985. The ASCI and its Consumer Complaints Council deal with complaints received from consumers and industry, against Ads which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising. The representatives of Indian Society of Advertisers, the Advertising Agencies Association of India and the Indian Newspapers Society have set up the Council to self-regulate the content of advertisements. The Code of the Council for Self-Regulation in Advertising specifies that all advertising should be truthful, honest, decent, legal and safe for consumers particularly minors, and fair to the competition.

x) Copyright Board:
The Copyright Board, a quasi-judicial body, was constituted in September 1958. The jurisdiction of the Copyright Board extends to the whole of India. The Board is entrusted with the task of adjudication of disputes pertaining to copyright registration, assignment of copyright, grant of Licenses in respect of works withheld from the public, unpublished Indian works, production, and publication of translations and works for certain specified purposes. It also hears cases in other miscellaneous matters instituted before it under the Copyright Act, 1957. The meetings of the Board are held in five different zones of the country. This facilitates administration of justice to authors, creators and owners of intellectual property including IP attorney are near their place of location or occupation.

xi) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India:
The entry of private service providers brought with it the inevitable need for independent regulation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was, thus, established with effect from 20th February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government. TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.

One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.

CENSORSHIP IN INDIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS
Internet censorship in India is on the rise-
India is becoming increasingly trigger-happy when it comes to preventing people accessing the internet.

The nation has shut down the internet in various regions 20 times in the first five months of this year, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. Four of those blackouts have taken place this month, all in states where violent protests took place.

That represents a dramatic uptick from last year, when 31 shutdowns were recorded in total, and an even greater increase since 2012 — which saw only three shutdowns.

The Indian government did not respond to a request for comment on the report, but has argued in the past that restricting access is sometimes necessary to prevent social media rumors from fueling violence.

The disputed and conflict-ridden region of Kashmir, for example, has seen 33 shutdowns in five years.

“The lack of transparency and failure to explain these shutdowns only furthers the perception that they are meant to suppress nonviolent reporting and criticism of the government,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch.

While the Indian government doesn’t have its own internet-blocking apparatus like China’s “Great Firewall,” it can order service providers to go offline. That power stems from a law written in 1973, which allows the government to impose various restrictions on the public to prevent everything from riots to “obstruction, annoyance or injury.”
India, which is often referred to as the world’s largest democracy, has been called out for online censorship before.

A 2016 survey of internet freedom in 65 countries by U.S.-based think tank Freedom House gave India a score of 41. China, with a score of 88, came last. Estonia performed best with a score of 6.

In another report by the Brookings Institution last year, India tied for first place with Iraq for the highest number of internet shutdowns among 19 countries (including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and North Korea).

Facebook also ranks the Indian government among the top countries asking it to censor content. The social media giant said in its latest Government Requests Report that India ordered 719 pieces of content to be restricted, lower only than Brazil, Turkey and Germany.

India topped Facebook’s list for two straight years up to June 2015.

India’s 65-year battle against film censorship: What needs to happen for it to end-
While the replacement of the country’s film certification board chairman is a step in the right direction, there’s still work to be done.

Movies lovers in India and advocates of artistic freedom everywhere breathed a sigh of relief on August 18, when filmmaker Pahlaj Nihalani — the censorious chairman of the country’s film certification body — was fired from his post. He was quickly replaced by screenwriter and advertising icon Prasoon Joshi. Nihalani’s firing signals a positive direction for the country’s relationship to censorship — but the chain of events has opened up several thorny questions.

India is the world’s most prolific filmmaking country, but movie news coming out of the subcontinent is often fraught with tales of censorship, bans and the public outrage as a result. According to the Indian Constitution, no film is eligible for public distribution or screening unless certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). To complicate matters further, the relevant Act in the Constitution (which hails from 1952) allows the CBFC to prohibit films that threaten the sovereignty of the Indian nation, its national interest, decency or morality. Over the years, members of the board have utilized the vague language in the Constitution’s text to get scissor-happy with countless films.

For example, India employs the controversial practice of adding on-screen disclaimers to any smoking scene that are intrusive at best, overwhelming at worst. This found no favor with Woody Allen, who back in 2013 decided not to release “Blue Jasmine” in India rather than cave in to such demands. This trend only worsened when Nihalani was appointed to the chairperson’s post in 2015.

Within a month of joining the body, Nihalani sent his colleagues a list of “objectionable” words that were to be censored in any film submitted for approval. The list included words such as “masturbating” and Bombay, the colonial name for Mumbai. It was a lost cause: Filmmakers across the country and some members of the CBFC itself lodged vehement protests that blocked Nihalani’s efforts. However, ad hoc decisions were still made with various films; the word “lesbian” was muted in a romantic comedy and the duration of the kisses in the Bond film “Spectre” was ordered to be cut down by exactly 50%.

During his term, Nihalani never shied away from the limelight and often spoke at length about the rationale of his decisions. The colorful nature of his statements only added to his infamy. When asked in an interview why the kisses in “Spectre” were a problem at their intended length, he responded, “This means you want to do sex in your house with your door open. And show to people the way you are doing sex.”
Perhaps the most well-known decision of Nihalani’s term as CBFC chairperson was the body’s refusal to grant approval to feminist sex comedy “Lipstick Under My Burkha.” In their letter to the film’s producer, they claimed that “the story is lady-oriented, their fantasy above life” and that “there are contanious sic sexual scenes.” (Whether they meant “continuous” or “contagious” has never been addressed.) The letter and CBFC’s antics attracted worldwide attention, the criticism of artists and film festivals; in a beautiful example of the Streisand Effect, not only did “Lipstick Under My Burkha” eventually win certification but also punched above its weight at the box-office.

Joshi, the new chairperson, seems far more progressive and less trigger-happy in his public statements. As a lyricist, he has twice won the National Film Award, the highest such honor in India. In 2003, a campaign he orchestrated for Coca-Cola India won the Golden Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. In past interviews, he has expressed a refreshing open-mindedness. (One example: “I believe that ideally we should have a society where no censorship is required.”) He is also generally admired in India’s film industry, where professionals respect his talent and experience.

However, Joshi’s proximity to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — the biggest part of India’s ruling coalition — ought to raise a few eyebrows. He has frequently worked on their political campaigns. For the BJP’s campaign for the 2014 general elections, Joshi helped with the iconic “Acche Din” (Good times!) catchphrase, a message as integral to the BJP’s positioning as “Make America Great Again” was to Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. Coincidentally, once the BJP formed the government at the center, Joshi was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, for his “contributions in the field of arts, literature, and advertising.”
Speaking with reporters in Mumbai after his appointment was made public, Joshi revealed that he did not “know how the CBFC functions” and that it takes time to understand the “whole process.” The credentials required to head a certification body are not amenable to bullet points, but Joshi’s statements make one wonder on what basis the government considers someone worthy of being appointed to the powerful post overlooking the distribution of every single film in the country. Among Joshi’s colleagues in the Board are several individuals with links to the BJP, some of whom have made inflammatory and partisan statements in the past.

In an ideal world, the CBFC would stick to its original mandate: certifying films in order to help them reach their audiences. There would be no need for filmmakers to fear cuts to their labor of love or for producers to be anxious about their release dates. Removing Nihalani is a step in the right direction, but a lot more remains to be done.

Why Press Freedom Is On The Decline In India-
The current state of media regulation has a lot to do with it.

The Indian media is often criticized for its deteriorating reporting standards, jaundiced coverage of politics and regurgitation of online trends as prime time news. The 2017 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders ranks India at 136 out of 180 countries. A rank as dismal as 136, can only be a blot on the largest democracy in the world. One wishes that the government showed as much sincerity in improving India’s ranking on the Press Freedom Index as they do towards the World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings.

Even as there is no outright censorship or governmental interference with press freedom, self-censorship imposes a legitimate threat to the plurality of views in the national discourse. Laws should exist not only to protect the space for the media to act independently but also to guard against the co-option of the media by the executive.

‘In large part the threat to the Indian media’s ability to preserve the plurality of views is due to a flawed regulatory architecture that does little to protect press freedom…’
The Press Council of India’s report on “Safety of Journalists” states that 80 journalists have been killed in India since 1990, with conviction in only one case so far. This only shows that indifference towards press freedom runs across the political spectrum.

In large part, the threat to the Indian media’s ability to preserve the plurality of views is due to a flawed regulatory architecture that does little to protect press freedom and more to silence it. In what follows we look at the regulation and laws that govern the Indian media and what needs to change in order to strengthen press freedom.

Criminal defamation:
Criminal defamation, as defined under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, permits any person who has suffered damage in reputation on an action of others to sue for defamation. The Essar Group, a multi-business conglomerate filed a defamation suit for ?250 crores against Caravan, a magazine known for its investigative journalism, when it published a 14,000-word article that made a number of allegations of corrupt practices by the company. While Caravan has decided to contest the case in courts, such threats may discourage other media organizations to investigate stories around wrongdoing by big companies or individuals. Politicians are not far behind; former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa filed 213 defamation cases against her opponents and media outlets for making “derogatory” remarks about her.

The law was enacted in 1860 and has witnessed few changes since. Tathagata Satpathy, a Member of Parliament is leading a campaign to make the defamation laws more progressive. According to him it is “a lack of clarity that often leads to misuse of defamation laws by using them as a harassment tool. The ultimate result is that this restricts speech.”
Media regulators without power-
The Press Council of India was established in 1966 as a statutory body with quasi-judicial powers to act as a watchdog for the print media. Media regulation in India hinges around the idea of self-regulation. However, the rapid growth in the number of media organizations in print, online and television sectors, along with increasing commercial pressures have meant that objectivity in reporting has suffered significantly. The lack of punitive power means that the Press Council “cannot levy fines or order the withdrawal of advertisements by government agencies, leave alone place errant journalists behind bars.” Hence PCI is rendered ineffective in placing any cost on those violating journalistic ethics.

‘The two self-regulating media bodies are at best, toothless tigers.’
In the case of television news, the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) looks into violation of the code of ethics laid out by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA). However, the problem with this self-regulatory body is that its membership is voluntary and “out of 135 news channels in the country, only 28 news broadcasters owning 57 news channels are members of the NBA.” A large number of television news channels continue to be beyond the ambit of any regulation by virtue of not being part of NBA.

In such a scenario, the two self-regulating media bodies are at best, toothless tigers.

No law for the protection of sources-
The protection of the identity of sources used by the journalists is an important element in how they unearth the truth. However, in India, there are no statutory rights accorded to journalists to protect their sources. In fact, in a court of law, a journalist may be held in contempt of court for not disclosing her sources. This makes uncovering the truth tenuous. The law makes speaking the truth a risky choice between future harassment by those being exposed and putting up with injustice and wrongdoing in society.

Should there be limits on media ownership?
News media ownership needs to be examined from the angle of press plurality. At present there are no regulations that impose limits oni) cross-media ownership,
ii) investment in news media by non-media organizations or
iii) news media organizations diversifying into non-media businesses. In fact, the Competition Commission of India that regulates markets to ensure that they remain competitive is blind to need for “plurality of views” in the media when it ratifies mergers. It is argued “that the media cannot, and should not, be bracketed with general commodities and services. The market for ideas is very different from that for, say, shoes or biscuits.”
In the interest of democracy it is essential that the exchange of ideas take place in an uninhibited manner where all citizens can access information free of bias and prejudice.

Proponents of free markets continue to argue that the government should not interfere in the market and let the media self-regulate. This principle engenders from Justice Holmes J.’s dissent in Abrams v. the United States in 1919, which laid the foundation of a marketplace of ideas theory. In his dissent note, he upheld that “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market”. However, the marketplace of ideas can also suffer from market failure as it has in the case of the media by its failure to provide unbiased news. In the interest of democracy, it is essential that the exchange of ideas take place in an uninhibited manner where all citizens can access information free of bias and prejudice.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made significant recommendations with regard to media ownership, determination of market share and market power of media organisations with the idea of preserving the plurality of views. In the case of cross media ownership, TRAI recommends that relevant markets should be defined as per the language which is spoken by the majority of the people in the state. For instance, in West Bengal where Bengali is the main language, the same entity should not be allowed to enter both print and television in the interest of the plurality of views. However, a Bengali newspaper owner could be allowed to operate an Oriya TV channel in the state of Odisha. Recommendations by TRAI, however, need to be updated to incorporate online news consumption along with the traditional print and television media.

These measures along with ownership and investment structure disclosure norms that go beyond what is stipulated by the Companies Act would help in meeting the higher transparency standards required for the news media sector.

The debate around the media needs to seriously look at various facets of regulation that hinder its freedom. As a public good, the news media has an important role in our democracy. We must not let poor regulation fail it.

Censorship in India, the truth-
“Censorship is when a work of art expressing an idea which does not fall under the current convention is seized, cut up, withdrawn, impounded, ignored, maligned, or otherwise made inaccessible to its audience.”
— Ritu Menon, for Women’s World Organisation for Rights,
Literature, and Development
The suppression or control of ideas, public communication, and information circulated within a society is termed as censorship. The freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution of India can be suppressed if it is considered objectionable, harmful, or necessary to maintain communal harmony. Governments across the globe have used religious arguments as well as other powerful techniques and arguments to support their censorship efforts. Offensive communication in the eyes of the government varies from country to country, religion to religion, even sect to sect. Many governments provide for certain limited protection against censorship. It is always necessary to balance conflicting rights in order to determine what can and cannot be censored.

A classic example of censorship in India is the Central Board of Film Certification or Censor Board, which comes under the purview of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Board regularly orders, directors to remove anything it deems offensive or subjects considered to be politically subversive. The censorship of films is governed by the Cinematograph Act, 1952. It assigns certification as Universal, Adults, and Parental Guidance to films in India before a public exhibition.

Around the world, the utmost concern of sensors is the depiction of violence and sex. The censor board’s job is to control the “corruption of the mind’ and to stop pornographic films. But on the other hand, it is ironical that anyone with internet access can see endless amounts of pornography. Today a child with access to the internet can see all kinds of pornography by typing three letters “sex”, while the censor board has long discussions on the permissible duration of a kissing scene in a movie. I am not saying that we should legalize pornography, but in today’s age, the censor board has to understand that this generation exercises their right to freedom of speech and expression.

There was a huge controversy with regards to the kissing scene in Dhoom 2 which ended in people burning its movie posters and obstructing people from entering the cinema halls to watch the film. Vishwaroopam, a Tamil film was blocked by the Tamil Nadu government after a protest from the Muslim Community. The director was forced to delete some important scenes from the movie before releasing the same. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad protested against the women modeling dresses bearing images of Hindu Gods, a Fatwa was brought against all girls rock band saying it was Un-Islamic. Therefore, on observing the above incidents it seems that it’s not actually the government censoring but rather the self-employed moral police doing the job.

Aseem Trivedi, Indian political cartoonist, and activist had been sent to jail on the grounds of sedition for publishing a series of cartoons highlighting corruption in India. He was later freed under a wave of protest.

The Constitution of India guarantees freedom of speech and expression with certain restrictions such as that of morality, decency, public order etc. Further, the Indian Penal Code allows cramping free speech on grounds of outraging religious feelings, making statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes on grounds of religion, caste, language or race. The Information Act, 2000 aims to punish people who send offensive messages online but is often used to target dissident and even posts on social media.

These laws are so broadly classified that cases can be impossible to quash, because it is difficult for a judge to take the view that some of the speech does not promote hatred between groups. There is no chance that these laws can be struck of the legislations. Politically, nobody will do it, because we have such a huge vacuum of leadership that nobody has the guts to step up and suggest such changes.
In conclusion, it can be said that, if the government has certified that a particular movie is for adults only, even then the scenes are deleted. This happens especially so in foreign movies which are released in India. The word “fuck”, which may have varied meaning, is effectively scrubbed out of a film and its subtitles. Newspapers carry revealing pictures of actresses and print adult jokes which can be read by children pretty easily. Ironically the Board makes sure that the kissing scene is deleted from a particular movie. How could it be constitutional to prevent the free broadcast of news over the radio, for instance, or to prohibit speech online that causes ‘annoyance’? Not only speech restricting laws not being struck off, but more such laws are being added to the statutes all the time.

Then on reflection what is the difference between India and China. China being a Communist country, there are really strict laws for public speaking and speeches and it is impossible to speak anything against the government. The same thing is happening in India. Article 19(1)(a) should be struck off because there is no freedom of speech and expression left in our country. Democracy is going to dogs. People cannot speak out their minds. There are communalism and dictatorship. But cases like Akbaruddin Owaisi’s hate speech against the Hindu sect harmed the religious sentiments of many. This is one example of misuse of this freedom of speech and expression under the Indian Constitution.

It seems that censorship can be a weapon in the hands of the State to make people agree with its ideology. Often the Censor Board functions to impose the State’s notion of Indianness and nationhood. The reach and power of films in India are massive. If a director wants to show the reality, he has to put it in a movie and then what happens, the censor board removes it. The Dirty Picture and other ‘A’ films, according to the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), can be screened on television without cuts after 11 pm. The BCCC suggested some sort of a coordination mechanism between the Central Board of Film Certification and the TV regulatory body for the certification of films for TV viewing. By this does it mean that the T.V is meant for children and not adults? Now is the time to look into the role that can be played by healthy criticism, analysis, and cinema literacy, rather than relying on a Censor Board that acts as a moral police, stopping the dissent.
CASE LAWS
i) Sakal Papers Ltd. v. Union of India
In this case, the Daily Newspapers (Price and Control) Order, 1960, which fixed a minimum price and number of pages, which a newspaper is entitled to publish, was challenged as unconstitutional. The State justified the law as a reasonable restriction on a business activity of a citizen. The Supreme Court struck down the Order rejecting the State’s argument. The Court opined that the right of freedom of speech and expression couldn’t be taken away with the object of placing restrictions on the business activity of the citizens. Freedom of speech can be restricted only on the grounds mentioned in clause (2) of Article 19.

ii) Bennet Coleman and Co. v. Union of India21
In this case, the validity of the Newsprint Control Order was challenged. The Order fixed the maximum number of pages which a newspaper could publish, and this was said to be violative of Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution. The government raised the contention that fixing the newsprint would help in the growth of small newspapers as well as prevent monopoly in the trade. It also justified its order of reduction of page level on the ground that big dailies devote a very high percentage of space to advertisements, and therefore, the cut in pages will not affect them. The Court held the newsprint policy to be an unreasonable restriction and observed that the policy abridged the petitioner’s right of freedom of speech and expression. The Court also held that the fixation of page limit will have a twofold effect- first, it will deprive the petitioners of their economic viability, and second, it will restrict the freedom of expression as compulsorily reducing the page limit will lead to a reduction of circulation and area of coverage for news and views.

iii) K. A. Abbas v. Union of India
The petitioner for the first time challenged the validity of censorship as violative of his fundamental right of speech and expression. The Supreme Court however observed that, pre-censorship of films under the Cinematograph Act was justified under Article 19(2) on the ground that films have to be treated separately from other forms of art and expression because a motion picture was able to stir up emotions more deeply and thus, classification of films between two categories ‘A’ (for adults only) and ‘U’ (for all) was brought about.

iv) Bobby Art International v. Om Pal Singh HoonThe Supreme Court re-affirmed the afore-mentioned view and upheld the order of the Appellate Tribunal (under the Cinematograph Act) which had followed the Guidelines under the Cinematograph Act and granted an ‘A’ certificate to a film.

iv) Hamdard Dawakhana v. Union of India
The Supreme Court was faced with the question as to whether the Drug and Magic Remedies Act, which put restrictions on the advertisements of drugs in certain cases and prohibited advertisements of drugs having magic qualities for curing diseases, was valid as it curbed the freedom of speech and expression of a person by imposing restrictions on advertisements. The Supreme Court held that an advertisement is no doubt a form of speech and expression but every advertisement is not a matter dealing with the expression of ideas and hence advertisement of a commercial nature cannot fall within the concept of Article 19(1)(a).

iv) Tata Press Ltd. v. Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court differed from the view expressed in the Dawakhana case and held that ‘commercial advertisement’ was definitely a part of Article 19(1)(a) as it aimed at the dissemination of information regarding the product. The Court, however, made it clear that the government could regulate commercial advertisements, which are deceptive, unfair, misleading and untruthful.

v) Udta Punjab case (8)
Written and directed by Abhishek Chaubey, Udta Punjab is a Hindi feature film co-produced by Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films and Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures. The film is based on the theme of drug addiction and related menace in the State of Punjab. The film hit the headlines and was center of controversy after the CBFC asked for numerous cuts, which led to an ugly war of words between the producers and the chairperson of CBFC.

The producers of Udta Punjab, Petitioners in the case, applied to CBFC for film certification on 10th May 2016 asking for “A” Certificate along with a notification that the film is scheduled to release on 17th June 2016. CBFC reviewed the film and informed the producers on 24th May 2016 that it was referred to the revising committee. The revising committee of CBFC reviewed the film on 3rd June 2016 and sent a letter to the Petitioners on 8th June 2016. In its communication, CBFC asked the Petitioners to make thirteen excisions in order to certify the film for public exhibition.

CUTS ADVISED BY CBFC:
1. Delete sign Board of Punjab in the beginning;
2. Delete Punjab, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Tarantaran, Jashanpura, Ambesaw, Ludhiana and Moga from background and dialogue wherever it occurs.;
3. From song number 1 delete the word ‘Chittave’ and ‘Harami’ everywhere;
4. From song number 2 delete ‘Tom di cock jevhe chitti chitti cock’ and ‘coke cock’ in the entire song;
5. Delete Behenchod, Behenchodo, Bund, Tatte, Gandia, Gandu, Lauda, Haramzadi, matherchod, chusa hua aam, kulti, maiyove, kudi chode, lulli, gashti from everywhere including background wherever it occurs; Reg.

6. Delete the word ‘Election’, ‘MP’, ‘Party’ from party worker, MLA, Punjab, Parliament;
7. From the song no. 3, delete the visuals of scratching/itching side portion by Sardar;
8. Delete the close-up shots of injecting drugs wherever it appears;
9. Delete the shot of urinating by Tommy in front of the crowd;
10. Delete the line ‘jamin Banzar te Aulad Kanjar’;
11. Delete the name of the dog as ‘Jacky Chain’;
12. The first disclaimer should be audio/video and to be changed as –’The film focuses on the rising menace of drugs and the war against drugs and is an attempt to show the ill-effects of drugs on today’s youth and the social fabric. We acknowledge the battle against drugs being fought by the Government and police. But this battle cannot be won unless the people of India unite against the menace.’; and
13. Increase the second disclaimer of fiction according to audio/video.

The producers challenged the CBFC’s decision by filing a writ petition before the Bombay High Court, which in part alleged that the decision of CBFC violates the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The Bombay High Court reviewed the script of the film minutely but did not watch the film to arrive at its conclusion. The Court deemed watching the film unnecessary in the context of the cuts proposed by CBFC.

After a comprehensive review and analysis of each cut required by CBFC, the Court approved only excision 9, which shows the protagonist urinating in public. On request of the parties, the Court reviewed the disclaimer and asked for the removal of reference to India in it. The Court disagreed with the CBFC on all cuts except one. It stated that the excisions proposed by the CBFC were not required in the light of the context and theme of the film and that CBFC’s conclusion with respect to the detriment to decency, sovereignty, integrity, and morality were misplaced. Contrary to CBFC’s opinion, the Court did not feel the need to cut out cuss and abusive words, slang, scenes showing drug use, use of place and state names, references to election and politicians, and other scenes.

vi) Had Anhad case (9)
This case relates to four documentary films conceived by Shabnam Virmani, a popular documentary film maker in India. The films were produced by the petitioner, Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, and are based on the legacy and teachings of the great poet and philosopher, Kabir, who lived in the 15th Century. The documentary films put together the journeys and experiences in search of Kabir in the contemporary.

Out of the four films produced, the CBFC approved three of them without any excisions, but mandated cuts with respect to the fourth film. The producer appealed to the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, which upheld three of the four excisions mandated by CBFC. Aggrieved, the producer approached the Delhi High Court through a writ petition and challenged the validity of the cuts.

Cuts mandated by the Board and confirmed by the Appellate Tribunal:
1. Use of the phrase “Militant Ram.” For example, “Maybe turning to Kabir was a turning away from Ram…that militant Ram used to stoke Hindu- Muslim hatred in India today.”;
2. Discussion about the Babri masjid demolition by showing video compact discs of such demolition; and
3. Words contemptuous of the muslim community, expressed by people in conversation in a bus while returning from Wagah border.

After watching the documentary film, the Delhi High Court rejected all three cuts and asked the CBFC to issue a “U” certificate for universal viewing. Dealing with each cut independently, the Court pointed out that the film, when seen as a whole, does not warrant any cut as excising the film would violate the petitioner’s right to freedom of speech and expression. The film is based on the theme of the life of the great poet Kabir, who defied religious differences and wrote poems about his ‘Ram,’ who was beyond any religion. The film tries to raise questions about Kabir’s Ram and provokes thought about social, religious and communal issues. When seen in the context of the theme, the Court pointed out that excising the film would curb expression unreasonably. The Court disagreed with the CBFC ‘s opinion and held that any cut to the film would dilute and violate freedom of speech and expression.

vii) Lipstick Under My Burkha case (10)
This case has already sparked off a debate about the role of CBFC, and will in all probability land up in the Court in due course. Several newspapers reported on 23rd February 2016 that CBFC refused to issue a certificate for public exhibition of the film Lipstick under my Burkah. The film chronicles secret lives of four women, who try to explore freedom from different perspectives. The film won the OXFAM best film on gender equality at the Mumbai Film Festival and also won the Spirit of Asia award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. CBFC issued the notice of refusal on 25th February 2017.

REASONS FOR REFUSAL-
In the words of the Board, the film was refused certification for the following reasons:
“The story is lady oriented their fantasy above life. There are continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a bit sensitive touch about one particular section of society. Hence film refused under guidelines 1(a), 2(vii), 2(ix), 2(x), 2(xii) and 3(i). ”
The one paragraph rejection to certify the entire film by the CBFC is conclusive and devoid of any reasoning about how and why it arrived at the said conclusion. The least a producer deserves when a decision to deprive an important right such as free speech and expression is a justification and explanation of why and how the CBFC arrived at the conclusion, and how it fits into the permissible restrictions. The notice of the CBFC confirms the subjective use of discretion and illustrates the inadequacies in the current system under the Cinematograph Act.

The CBFC certifies numerous films, and most of them pass through without much trouble, and only a few of its decisions are disputed. In a system based on not so clear principles, which are subject to differences in opinion, one or two errors are bound to occur. But, the question is not about perfecting the system, but whether a subjective mechanism driven by individualistic opinions and machinations can be allowed to abrogate an important fundamental right? Two committees have been constituted by the Central Government during the last five years to address this question among others and make appropriate recommendations.

8Phantom Films Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. vs. The Central Board of Film Certification and Ors., Writ Petition (L) No. 1529, 2016 (HC of Bombay).

9Srishti School of Art, Design ; Technology v. The Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification ; Anr., March 9, 2011. (HC of New Delhi), available at https://indiankanoon.org/doc/171639/
10 Refusal Letter by CBFC can be accessed at https://www.thequint.com/bollywood/2017/02/23/cbfc-wont-certify-the-film-lipstick-under-my-burkha-director-alankrita-shrivastava-reacts, last visited on 20.03.2017;

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