Registration of 40-year-old CPI(M) paper 'Daily Desher Katha' in Tripura repealed

According to the notice served to the daily’s publisher, its registration was being cancelled for alleged violations of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.   

Published: 03rd October 2018 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2018 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

Representational Image. | File Photo

Express News Service

GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI: The Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI) on Tuesday withdrew the operational clearance given to  Communist Party of India (Marxist) mouthpiece Daily Desher Katha, a Bengali daily in Tripura.

According to the notice served to the daily’s publisher, its registration was being cancelled for alleged violations of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.   

In the notice, additional press registrar, K Satish Nambudiripad, wrote: “The Office of the Registrar of Newspapers for India is in receipt of an email from the office of the district magistrate (DM) and collector of West Tripura, Agartala, enclosing a communication from the sub-divisional magistrate, Sadar, West Tripura cancelling the authentication as recorded by him over the declaration made in form 1 by (editor) Shri Samir Paul, s/o Late Sudhir Paul, regarding the Bengali daily newspaper Daily Desher Katha.”The DM had taken action based on a complaint by a local resident.

“When we received the complaint, we issued notices to both parties. We conducted hearings for four times. Accordingly, we told the opponent parties to bring all documents regarding the change of ownership, printer, editor as well as revised certificate... We found that Sections 5 (1) and 5 (2e) were grossly violated. Accordingly, the declarations were cancelled...the RNI cancelled the certificate of registration. The RNI took the action,” West Tripura DM Dr Mahatme Sandeep Namdeo told TNIE.

Terming the ban as “illegal”, the newspaper said the DM had acted according to the “political orders” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said it is a brazen attack on the freedom of the press and a sad day that Tripura’s second-largest daily has been forced to stop publication on Gandhi Jayanti. The Politburo of the CPI(M) said the DM of has cancelled the registration on flimsy and dubious grounds and consequently the RNI also withdrew registration.

Alleged violations

According to the DM’s statement, changes were made in the ownership of the paper without following proper procedure. The DM added that the publisher was unable to produce documents that proved the ownership of the paper had changed from  the CPI(M) to the Desher Katha Society, or any other related documents

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