NEW DELHI: In a clean-up exercise, the Indian Broadcasting
Foundation, representing the largest number of television
channels in the country, has advised its members to stop telecast
of programmes relating to persons like Nirmal Baba as this
IBF director (finance) Naresh Chahal told indiantelevision.com
that the Foundation felt it was its social responsibility
not to encourage such trends through television.
The advisory says that the telecasts promote superstition
and blind belief and therefore should not be encouraged.
Asked if this would apply to news channels who were also telecasting
the live programmes of Nirmal Baba, Chahal said the advisory
had been sent to all members which included news channels.
Interestingly, TV18 editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai had said
in a recent discussion on Media Ethics that channels were
forced to show programmes of this kind in a scenario where
the channels were dependent on advertising revenue rather
than subscription revenue for their survival.
Earlier this month, a court in Madhya Pradesh had directed
the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to stop telecast
of advertorial programmes connected with self-styled
guru Nirmal Baba. The court also issued an arrest warrant
and directed police to nab him by 25 June.
magistrate's court in Bina registered a case against the Godman
and charged him with cheating by impersonation, criminal intimidation
and violation of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.
in May, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court sought
a reply from the Centre on the public interest litigation
seeking ban on broadcast of Nirmaljeet Singh Narula alias
Nirmal Baba's programme on different TV channels. The matter
will come for next hearing on July 16.
notice was issued by a division bench of Justice Uma Nath
Singh and Justice V K Dixit after hearing the PIL filed by
local lawyer K Saran, who alleged that the programmes of Nirmal
Baba violated the norms laid down in Cable TV Network (Regulation)
Act 1995 and Rules.
the Baba has suspended all gatherings for this month and promised
to reimburse the payment received from his followers, apart
from closing all entries for the July and August meets.