The government on Friday approved basic regulatory legislation for the printing and recording of the Holy Quran, seven years after the establishment of the Quran Board.
Under the Punjab Holy Quran Act (printing and recording) 2011, no one is permitted to publish the Holy Quran without registration with the Punjab Quran Board. The Act explains the procedure for registration by publishers and the documents required for the purpose.
According to the approved legislation, the Quran Board will consist of 27 members, 16 of which will be selected on the basis of religious learning, four will be non official members, and seven will be government servants including an additional home secretary, officials of the Information and Education Departments, an additional inspector general and deputy inspector general of police and the religious affairs director general and deputy secretary.
The Punjab government will appoint one of these members as chairman for one year, while the remaining members will be selected for three years. The Auqaf deputy secretary will be the board’s secretary.
Each member will be paid Rs5,000 for every Quran Board meeting they attend.
The board will be responsible for ensuring error-free publishing of the Holy Quran and reviewing the process. It will also chalk out a strategy to preserve and reuse frayed sheets of the Holy Quran.
The Act sets certain rules for the publishing of the Holy Quran. The publishers have been barred from using paper weighing less than 52 grams a sheet. According to the legislation, publishers will not be allowed to publish the Holy Quran on newsprint.
The new law has authorised the board to confiscate copies of the holy book with typos or misprints. The purview of the board will be limited to the Arabic content only. All publishing houses have been directed to register under the new law within 90 days (before November 20, 2011).
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2011.