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Lord Wellesley (1796–1804) imposed strict regulations through the Censorship of the Press Act in 1799. This Act warranted that all content was to be cleared by the Secretary to the Government. Names of the printer, editor and proprietor were to be clearly printed in every issue. Lord Hastings (1813–23) relaxed some of these laws in 1818 and removed the pre-censorship of the press. The officiating Governor General, Charles Metcalfe (1835–36) was a supporter of free press. He removed the regulations of 1823. Metcalfe’s Press Act just wanted publishers to give a declaration about the place and premises of the publication. This liberating influence had a positive impact on the growth of press, as a large number of newspapers started publishing till stiff regulations were again imposed in 1857, due to the Revolt. Most serious restriction on the growth of Indian language newspapers was Lord Lytton’s Vernacular Press Act of 1878. A highly biased and racial measure, this Act attempted to stifle any opposition to the government voiced in the local languages of the country. Similar restrictions were not imposed on the English language newspapers. It indirectly empowered the government to control all seditious writings by the Indian intelligentsia. There was no appeal against the decision of the District Magistrate. This Act was repealed in 1882 by Lord Ripon, who was a very popular Viceroy among the Indians for his liberal views and measures.

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