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Checking misleading ads does not mean controlling media: Thomas

NEW DELHI: Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas has once again come down heavily on misleading advertisements, while stressing that the government is not trying to control the media.

In his address on World Consumer Rights Day, Thomas said: "I want to touch upon misleading advertisements. This is a source of major income for print and TV media. We have to handle it carefully so that the message does not go out that by controlling advertisements, we are trying to control the media,"

The Minister said a Committee was constituted with members of media and other organisations to look into the issue of misleading advertisements and its report had come.

"I think it is an important matter because we have to respect the freedom of press in the country. But at the same time, that media should not be used for misleading the people of the country," Thomas said.

"Recently, the Patna High Court has given a judgment that the Government of India has to constitute a committee and look into these ads. Yesterday, I signed the file. Let us look into the judgment of the High Court. It is not our Ministry alone, there are other ministries like Health, Information and Broadcasting especially, who will have to look into this important judgment," he said.

Thomas said the ministry is considering the problems faced by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at national, state and districts level in terms of infrastructure facilities, manpower and remunerations.

He complimented the consumer forums for disposal of about 91 per cent of the cases.

Meanwhile, the I&B Ministry had ensured presence of a representative of the Consumer Affairs Ministry in all meetings of the Inter-Ministerial Committee which goes into complaints against TV channels.

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