Government warns of stiff action against erring TV channels

NEW DELHI: Even as the AXN channel has been allowed to resume telecasts in India following an apology, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has expressed its unhappiness at the fact that the channel should have ignored warnings about its content.

Sources in the ministry tell that the channel, which was banned on 17 January for two months (till 15 March), "did not even acknowledge the notices of the ministry in this regard, leave aside responding to them." AXN had been banned for telecasting programmes like The World’s Sexiest Advertisements, which the ministry felt "were against good taste or decency and were likely to adversely affect public morality."

I&B Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi had said recently that the government was concerned about the content being aired on electronic media and has warned of suitable action in case of violations of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995.

He had noted that some of the programmes being telecast on TV on different channels had poor quality content and women were depicted in a degrading fashion in advertisements etc. "We have to be very tough in this regard," he had noted. Though he did not name any channels, it is learnt that they included FTV and Zee Café, apart from AXN.

The ban order under Section 20(2) of the Act was lifted in view of the assurance by AXN that it would put in place a more effective self regulatory mechanism to ensure that the programmes and the advertisements telecast on the channel are in compliance with the Act.

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