Can’t force media to name source: I&B ministry

    By IANS,

    Lucknow : The union information and broadcasting ministry Wednesday said that it cannot force print and electronic media to take specific names of other news sources like newspapers and news channels if they refer to their reports.

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    The I&B ministry made these observations while deciding on a representation made by social activist Nutan Thakur, in pursuance of an order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.

    The ministry said that the chairman of the Press Council of India is of the view that as per Section 7 of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, the editor is the sole authority to decide the contents.

    Hence, the ministry said, it does not deem it fit to lay down rules, making it mandatory to state the names of other newspapers while referring to reports, and the decision in the matter would be left to the editor.

    As for the need to keep a record of newspapers for a definite period, the ministry said that under Section 25(1) of the proposed Press and Registration of Books and Publications Bill, there is a provision to deliver a copy of the newspaper as and when demanded by the Press Registrar General.

    Thakur had filed a petition before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court April 23, 2013, following which the court directed the union government to decide on the representations.

    “Nothing, however, happened within the stipulated time of four months, after which I filed a contempt of court petition,” the petitioner told IANS and added that the I&B ministry responded thereafter.