Regulators

IBF asked to file affidavit in Kantar case; matter put off to 12 May

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NEW DELHI: The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) was today formally impleaded in the Kantar case in Delhi High Court and asked to file its affidavit in the matter.

Thereafter, Kantar Market Research will file its rejoinder and the matter has been fixed by Justice Rajiv Shakder to 12 May.

The case had been filed by Kantar Market Research challenging the Policy Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India, and in particular on the clause relating to cross-media ownership. The matter had come up last in September 2014.

Meanwhile, the interim order on the case will continue that will allow Kantar’s subsidiary TAM Media Research to publish ratings till the verdict on the case is out.

Although TAM and Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) were the only two applicants under the guidelines as of December 2013, TAM has still not received any response from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on its application.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has been impleaded early in the case in favour of the guidelines.

While declining to stay the Guidelines in February last year, Justice Manmohan had stayed sections 16.1 and 16.2 of the Guidelines, thus giving freedom to TAM to offer ratings to its clients.

The sections relating to cross-holding, which state that the same company cannot hold shares in both TRP companies and the media are 1.7a and 1.7d.

Kantar had argued that any action relating to Fundamental Rights had to be done through an act of Parliament and not by an executive order. Any attempt to regulate television rating agencies was tantamount to interfering with the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a), it had argued. 

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