Government move puts spanner in IBF plans

NEW DELHI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) proposes, the government disposes.

Even as the apex body of broadcasting companies operating in India was getting ready to publicise its initiative regarding political ads, surrogate or otherwise, today, came the news that the government has moved the Supreme Court (SC) on the issue.

Though the outcome of the case is not known as of yet, but the IBF wants to be prepared for the show if it's allowed on TV.

According to IBF, it has set up three regional sub-committees in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to screen political ads before they are accepted and aired by member-broadcasters.

The Chennai panel consists of representatives from organisations like Asianet, Sun TV, Enadu and Vijay TV, while the Mumbai counterparts has the likes of Star India, Sony Entertainment TV India, MTV India, Zee Telefilms and Radio Mid-day. The Delhi committee has representation from the likes of Discovery, NDTV and Aaj Tak.

The rationale behind setting up these regional panels is to see that nothing politically controversial gets through on TV channels. But keeping in mind the urgency, the panels have also been directed to clear submissions within 24 hours.

However, all this would depend on the view that the SC would take on the issue of political advertising in the electronic medium in the wake of a petition filed by information and broadcasting ministry challenging an Andhra high court order earlier this month.

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