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Report No. 159

3.14. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.-

According to their letter dated 28-11-97 of the Ministry, it is administering four Acts, namely, (i) Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867; (ii) Prasar Bharti Act, 1990; (iii) The Cinematograph Act, 1952; and (iv) The Press Council Act, 1978. So far as the 1867 Act is concerned, it is stated that amendments to the Act have been examined by the Law Ministry and that no further review of the Act is called for at this stage. Regarding the Cinematograph Act, 1952 it is stated that the amendments have already been introduced and are now pending in the Rajya Sabha.

With respect to Press Council Act, 1978, it is stated that the Press Council of India has suggested some amendments and that the matter is under consideration and that proposals in that behalf will be sent to the Law Commission later. With respect to the Prasar Bharti Act, 1990, it is stated in the aforesaid letter that no further review of the Act is called for at the present juncture. But it appears that the present Government is contemplating a review of the Act.

Be that as it may, no comments are called for from the Law Commission at this stage, except to say that while enacting any 'amendments to the Prasar Bharati Act, 1990 or while contemplating a new enactment on the subject, as the case may be, the concerned authorities will do well to study closely the two opinions in the judgment of the Supreme Court in The Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India v. Cricket Association of Bengal, AIR 1995 SC 1236. The said opinions refer to the Broadcasting Law obtaining in several countries of the world and lay down the basic concepts relevant to the subject in the light of the Indian Constitutional Law.

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