This section is responsible to maintain register for books, periodicals and pamphlets being printed in the province in a proper catalogue. It is supposed to administer Press Laws related to books, pamphlets, leaflets, posters and propose actions against the defaulters for publishing objectionable writings. Political, national and international magazines are thoroughly scrutinized in this section and a comprehensive report is prepared for the high-ups for their information and further action.
The major functions of this section are the scrutiny of books, pamphlets, posters etc. The proscription actions against objectionable books are taken in consultation with the Home Department. It proposes action against the printer/publishers who violate the provisions of press, Newspapers, News Agencies, Books Registration Ordinance, 2002. Such cases are referred to Home Department, DCOs and Judicial Magistrates in the Punjab.
This section is also supposed to administer an Ordinance called the West Pakistan (Regulation Control) Ordinance, 1969. Under this Ordinance, no person without the permission of the Government can re-print/publish any book which is first printed or published in a foreign country. This Ordinance was promulgated to check the subversive, anti-Pakistan Islam material. Actions are taken against the printers/publishers who violate the law.
Under the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002, the gratis copies of the periodicals are received by the Press Laws Branch to check and monitor the regularity of the newspapers/periodicals. A certificate is issued in this regard on the request of the publisher. Under the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002, the title of a printing press is allotted on the basis of province, so the branch itself after verification and availability issues NOC to the applicant.
To maintain the record of declarations of newspapers/periodicals and printing presses received from the DC’s in Punjab. In case of non-publication/non-receipt of gratis copies of the newspapers/periodicals, a notice is served upon to the publisher/printer. If the publisher does not respond the notice, a notice is served in which a fine of Rs. 100/- is levied for each default which is to be deposited under a prescribed head of account. If the publisher even does not respond after receiving the notice, it is presumed that the publisher has ceased its publication, so an annulment advice is sent to the concerned DC for annulment of the declaration.
The Press Laws Branch provides support regarding regularity report of the newspapers/ periodicals that apply for inclusion in Central Media List for advertisements and Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). In 2002, the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002 was introduced by the Federal Government, for all provinces. The 18th amendment was made by the Federal Government on 19-04-2010 duly approved by the National Assembly and after the 18th amendment, the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002 has become the provincial subject.