An official from the Press Declaration Section of the CMM’s office said the practice has been introduced to sift out dubious applications.
From now on, printers and publishers in Mumbai will have to furnish police-issued character certificates to the Press Declaration Section of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s office every time they file a declaration for a new publication.
According to an office order passed on May 13 by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Office, Esplanade, Mumbai, applicants making a declaration while filing a title application for a new publication would be required to submit a character certificate issued by the police station concerned along with other documents. According to the office order, “As this office has received various complaints after accepting declaration, henceforth it is proper to direct proposed applicants to submit Character Certificate issued by concerned police station along with the documents while filing the Title Application, with effect from 02.05.2016.”
The Mumbai Police Special Branch’s form for a ‘character and antecedent’ certificate requires the applicant to state, apart from general information including name, address, occupation, educational qualification and visible identification marks, whether he/she has been arrested, prosecuted or involved in political activities in the past.
The form states: “Have you ever been arrested/ prosecuted/ detained/ fined/ convicted? If so, give particulars of the case. Have you ever taken active part in politics? If so, give particulars.”
An official from the Press Declaration Section of the CMM’s office said the practice, already in force in Thane and Pune, has been introduced to sift out dubious applications. “The allegations were that some persons claimed to be publishers but later used that as a front to extort money. The clause was added to ensure that there is a check on the applicants,” the official said.
While the rule applies for new publications only and not existing ones, any change in the company’s name, the publication’s title, its periodicity, etc would necessitate this fresh declaration and, therefore, the character certificate, he confirmed.
When contacted, I&B Secretary Ajay Mittal clarified that there was no change in the Registrar of Newspapers for India rules on Form of Declaration. “It is an order from the local metropolitan magistrate. The RNI has nothing to do with it. There has been no change in RNI guidelines,” he said.http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/to-publish-in-mumbai-get-police-certificate-specify-political-past-2890496/