Regulators

Ban on Crime Serials on Kannada Channels sought

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BANGALORE: The Karnataka government sought a direction from the High Court (HC) to ban Crime Diary and Crime Story being telecast on Kannada ETV and Udaya TV in reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate on Wednesday at Bangalore.

In a matter that could have far reaching effect and consequences the PIL contends that the telecast of such serials go beyond the permissible limits and infringe upon rights of citizens and adversely effect public interest - the government has sought a blanket direction to the electronic media not to carry stories in violation of the criminal justice system.

The HC said that it was open for the state government to take action against the police officials, officers and the electronic media if they were found acting in violation of the law.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice N K Sodhi and Justice B Padmaraj heard the PIL against the telecast of the serials that are allegedly affecting fair trial of criminal cases. Also contending that the telecast timing of 10 pm everyday would seriously affect children and could result in psychological and neurological disorders and could incite the young to take to crime, the counsel sought HCs intervention.

The petitioner Mr. A V Aamaranathan, an advocate, complained that the police were disclosing confidential information and parading the accused in front of the cameras, taking interviews of the victims, police officials and others in violation of the principles of criminal justice system and natural justice. The police officials were making statements in the serails. The serials portrayed gory scenes that were bound to have a negative effect on children and others.

The government counsel submitted that necessary instructions had been issued and action such as suspension was taken against some SIs and PIs The honorable judges directed that the some SPs and DIGs should placed to stop police officials from participating in such programmes.

The government counsel assured that necessary steps would be taken to ensure that officials did not violate the criminals justice system, but, sought a direction from the HC to stop parallel trial of criminal cases by the electronic media during then process of investigation or pendency of trials before the criminal courts.

Following arguments between the petitioners, the government counsel and the counsel representing the TV channels, the hearing has been adjourned to 17 January, 2005.

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