Digital Media in India Can Face Action for 'Violations' in New Law Amendment

The new bill will replace the law which now only regulates the newspaper and printing press industry.

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The Union government will bring in an amended law, according to which digital media in India can face action for "violations."

The government will propose changes to the Registration of the Press and Periodicals Bill, 2019, in the Parliament session next week to bring in the digital media industry, which is not included within its ambit currently.

The new bill will replace the colonial era Press and Regulation of Books Act 1867, which currently only regulates the newspaper and printing press industry in India.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which will be the "administrative ministry," will include "news on digital media through any electronic device."

A previous attempt to control digital media under the new Information Technology rules had triggered a massive controversy in 2019.


The government had put out a draft bill that defined news on digital media as news in "digitised format that can be transmitted over the internet, computer or mobile networks and includes text, video, audio and graphics."

What Do the Amendments Include?

  • Digital news publishers have to apply for registration within 90 days of the law coming into effect.

  • Digital publishers will need to register with the Press Registrar General, who can act against various publications for violations, suspend or cancel registrations, and impose penalties.

  • An appellate board will be instituted with the chairperson of the Press Council of India as its chief.

The Bill is yet to be approved by the Prime Minister's Office and other stakeholders, according to NDTV.

(With inputs from NDTV.)

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