Indian Vanguard

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Press and Registration Appellate Board lifted ban order on the Maoist Magazine

Posted by Admin on September 12, 2009

Jan-cover-in 2006KOZHIKODE: The Press and Registration Appellate Board, New Delhi, has quashed the Ernakulam District Collector’s order banning the publication of ‘People’s March’, the unofficial mouthpiece of the CPI (Maoist).The PRAB, in its August 7 ruling, set aside the Collector’s order and held that “the magazine regains its force and becomes operative with immediate effect.” The Collector banned the publication on January 15 on the ground that it indulged in “publishing seditious matters, exhorting the general public to take up arms for violent struggle and promoting divisive tendencies in the country.”

The PRAB, comprising chairman Justice K N Ray and member Ramesh Gupta, said that as per Section 8(b) of the Press and Registration of Books Act, no publication could be banned on these grounds. “Seditious offences may be taken cognizance of under the IPC or other relevant laws,” it said.‘Peoples March’ editor P Govindan Kutty was arrested after the Andhra police picked up CPI (Maoist) central committee member Malla Raju Reddy at Angamaly on December 17, 2008.

The office of the magazine was raided and equipment, including computers, were seized.Govindan Kutty spent around 50 days in jail before the High Court granted him bail. After he came out, he brought out a new magazine, ‘People’s Truth’, meant for private circulation. The Maoists, meanwhile, have launched a website to propagate their ideology.Govindan Kutty told Express that his magazine was banned without even being served a showcause notice.“The PRAB order is a victory for democratic forces against attempts to stifle voices of dissent,” he said.But he suspects foul play by the authorities. “Even after the PRAB order, the owner of the printing press has declined to print the magazine, possibly because he was intimidated by the police,” he said. NIE

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