Publication of newspapers
5. No newspaper shall be printed or published except in conformity with the provisions of this Part and unless there subsists an authenticated declaration in respect thereof.
Name of the editor to be printed on the newspaper
6. Every copy of every newspaper shall contain the name of the editor of the newspaper printed clearly on such copy as the name of the such editor.
Declaration of the printer and publisher
7. The printer and the publisher of every newspaper shall appear, in person or by agent authorised in this behalf in accordance with the rules, before the District Magistrate within whose local jurisdiction such newspaper shall be printed or published and shall make and subscribe, in duplicate originals, a declaration in Form B.
No minor to be printer, publisher or editor
8. No person who has not attained majority in accordance with the provisions of the Majority Act, 1875
(IX of 1875), or of the law to which he is subject in respect of the attainment of majority shall be permitted to make a declaration under section 7, not shall any such person edit a newspaper.
Effect of non-publication of newspaper
9. (1) If a newspaper in respect of which a declaration has been made under section 7 is not published within three months of the date on which such declaration is authenticated or deemed to have been authenticated under section 12, the declaration shall become null and void.
(2) Where a declaration becomes null and void under sub-section (1), the printer and the publisher shall make and subscribe a fresh declaration under section 7 before printing or publishing the newspaper, and the provision of sub-section (1) shall apply to the fresh declaration and to any subsequent fresh declaration.
(3) Where a newspaper having been published is not published,-
(a) in the case of a daily newspaper, for three months, and
(b) in the case of any other newspaper, for six months, the declaration made in respect of that newspaper shall become null and void, and the printer and the publisher shall make and subscribe a fresh declaration u/s 7 before further printing or publishing the newspaper and to every such fresh declaration the provisions of the two foregoing sub-sections shall, without prejudice to the provisions of this sub-section, apply.
Effect of change of language, periodicity or place of publication
10. If at any time after the making of a declaration under section 7, the newspaper to which the declaration relates is printed or published in a language, with a periodicity or at a place, other than the language or languages, periodicity or place shown in the declaration, the declaration shall become null and void, and any further printing and publication of the newspaper shall be unauthorised unless a fresh declaration under section 7 is made, but nothing in this section shall apply to a temporary change of the place of printing or publication for a period not exceeding thirty days at any one time, if within seventy-two hours of such temporary change the District Magistrate is informed of it in the manner prescribed.
Effect, if printer or publisher leaves Bangladesh
11. If at any time the printer or the publisher who has made a declaration under section 7 leaves Bangladesh, the declaration shall become null and void unless,-
(a) the absence of the printer or the publisher from Bangladesh be for a period not exceeding six months, and
(b) the printer or the publisher, before leaving Bangladesh, informs, in writing, the District Magistrate within whose jurisdiction the newspaper is printed or published, of his intended absence and the name of the person who has undertaken to discharge, in his absence and on his behalf, the responsibilities of the printer or the publisher, and furnishes to the District Magistrate a statement, in writing, of that person accepting those responsibilities.
Authentication of the declaration
12. (1) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), each of the duplicate originals of every declaration made and subscribed under section 7 shall be authenticated by the signature and official seal of the District Magistrate before whom the said declaration is made.
(2) The District Magistrate shall not authenticate the declaration unless he is satisfied that-
(a) the proprietor, the printer and the publisher are citizens of Bangladesh;
(b) the proprietor, if he himself is not the printer or the publisher, has authorised the making of such declaration;
(c) the title of the newspaper proposed to be published is not the same as the title of any newspaper already being published in the same language at any place in the country, not being a newspaper of different periodicity published by the same publisher or another edition of the same newspaper published from another place;
(d) the printer or the publisher was not convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude within five years before the date of his making and subscribing a declaration under section 7;
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(f) the printer or the publisher has not been found to be a lunatic or of unsound mind by any court;
(g) [the proprietor or the publisher] has the financial resources required for regularly publishing the newspaper; and
(h) the editor possesses reasonable educational qualifications or has had adequate training or experience in journalism.
[Explanation.- A proprietor or a publisher shall be deemed to have the financial resources required for regularly publishing a newspaper if he has such bank balance as the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, specify from time to time in this behalf.]
(3) If the District Magistrate refuses to authenticate the declaration, the person making the declaration may, within forty-five days of such refusal, prefer an appeal to the [Press Appellate Board] whose decision thereon shall be final.
(4) If the District Magistrate fails to authenticate the declaration within sixty days of the making thereof, the person making the declaration may prefer an application to the [Press Appellate Board] praying for an order directing the District Magistrate to authenticate the declaration, and the [Press Appellate Board] shall make such order on such application as it may deem fit.
Deposit of authenticated declaration
13. The duplicate originals of the declaration authenticated under section 12 shall be deposited one each in the office of the District Magistrate and with the officer appointed by the Government under section 37.
Inspection and supply of copies of the declaration
14. The officer in charge of each original deposited under section 13 shall allow any person to inspect that original on payment of a fee of Taka two, and shall give to any person applying a copy thereof attested by the seal of the office which has the custody of the original, on payment of a fee of Taka four.
Copy of declaration or newspaper to be prima facie evidence
15. In any legal proceeding, whether civil, criminal or otherwise, a copy of a declaration attested in the manner prescribed in section 14 and a copy of the newspaper having the name of a person printed thereon as its editor, shall be sufficient evidence, unless the contrary is proved, as against the person whose name has been subscribed to such declaration, or printed on such newspaper, as the case may be, that the said person was printer or publisher, or printer and publisher (according as the words of the said declaration may be) of every portion of every newspaper whereof the title corresponds with the title of the newspaper mentioned in the declaration or the editor of every portion of that issue of the newspaper of which a copy is produced.
New declaration by person who have signed declaration and subsequently ceased to be printers or publishers
16. Every person who having subscribed a declaration under section 7 subsequently ceases to be the printer or publisher of the newspaper mentioned in such declaration shall appear, in person or by agent authorised in this behalf in the manner prescribed, before the District Magistrate, and make and subscribe in duplicate originals a declaration in Form C.
Authentication and filing of declaration under section 16
17. Each of the duplicate originals of the declaration made under section 16 shall be authenticated by the signature and seal of the District Magistrate before whom it is made and one such original shall be filed along with each originals or the declaration under section 7.
Inspection and supply of copies of declaration under section 16
18. The officer in charge of each original of the declaration filed under section 17 shall allow any person applying to inspect that original on payment of a fee of Taka one, and shall give to any person applying a copy thereof attested by the seal of the officer having custody of the original, on payment of a fee of Taka two.
Putting copy of declaration under section 16 in evidence
19. In any legal proceeding in which a copy of a declaration under section 7 attested in accordance with section 14 has been put in evidence, it shall be lawful to put in evidence a copy of a declaration under section 16 attested in accordance with section 18, and the former declaration shall not then be taken to be evidence that the declarant , was, at any period subsequent to the date of the latter declaration, printer or publisher of the newspaper therein mentioned.
Cancellation of authentication
20. (1) If, at any time, the District Magistrate, who authenticated a declaration under section 12, is satisfied that, subsequent to the authentication,-
(a) the proprietor, the printer or [the proprietor or the publisher] of the newspaper has ceased to be a citizen of Bangladesh;
[(b) the printer or the publisher has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude;]
(c) the printer or the publisher has been found to be a lunatic or of unsound mind by any court; or
[(d) the proprietor or the publisher has ceased to have the financial resources required for regularly publishing the newspaper, he may, by an order in writing stating the reasons therefor, cancel the authentication of the declaration:
Provided that no such order shall be made except after giving the person who made the declaration a reasonable opportunity of being heard.]
(2) Any person aggrieved by an order under sub-section (1) may, within sixty days of the making of such order, prefer an appeal to the [Press Appellate Board] whose decision thereon shall be final.
Power to declare certain publications forfeited and to issue search warrants for the same
[20A. Where any book or paper wherever made appears to the Government to contain any words, signs or visible representations which are indecent, obscene or scurrilous, the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, stating the grounds of its opinion, declare all copies of such book or paper to be forfeited to the Government and thereupon any police officers may seize the same wherever found in Bangladesh, and any District Magistrate may by warrant authorise any police officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector to enter upon and search for the same in any premises where any copy of such book or paper may be or may be reasonably suspected to be.]
Copyright © 2019, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division
Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs