(Last Updated on : 16-04-2009)
The Civil disobedience movement in particular and the other fragmented political awakenings made the socio-political condition pretty anarchic. The chaotic socio-political situation moved government to issue a fresh new Press Ordinance in 1930. The new Press Act was aimed to provide for the better control of the Press. The Indian Press Act revived the provision of the Indian press Act of 1910. In 1931,the government enacted the Indian Press Act, which gave the sweeping powers to the provincial government in suppressing the propaganda for the civil disobedience movement. Section 4 (1) of the Act sought to punish the words, signs or visible representations, which incite or encourage the commission of any offence or murder or any cognizable offence. These cognizable offence included violence or directly or indirectly expressing approval or admiration of any such offence. According to the Act, any person, real or fictitious, who had committed or alleged or represented to have committed the offence, would be punished.
In 1932 the Press Act of 1931 was amplified in the form of Criminal Amendment Act of 1932. Section 4 was made very comprehensive and expanded to include all possible activities calculated to undermine the Government's authority. During the Second World War (1939-45), the executive exercised exhaustive powers under the defence of India Act. Pre-censorship was reinforced, the Press Emergency Act and the Official Secrets Act. At the same time the publication of all news relating to the Congress activities declared illegal. The special powers assumed by the Government during the war ended in1945.