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Press and Registration of Books Act 1867: Its history and impact

The current Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act 1867 was squarely aimed at curbing what the British Government thought was the role of the press in the 'revolt of 1857'



Vivek Mehra
The Press and Registration of Books Act 1867 is a result of many previous draconian laws being repealed and or being merged into one. It has been in existence for 151 years! In many ways it has outlived its utility. But its existence continues to plague Indian academic publishing. The biggest sufferer has been Indian Journal publishing. 

A brief history of the act

The legacy begins with the Censorship of Press Act, 1799 which was imposed by Lord Wellesley to gag the press ahead of a French invasion of India. This was retracted in 1818 by Lord Hastings.

Acting governor-general

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First Published: Dec 12 2018 | 12:43 PM IST

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