Lemon News warned for airing programme promoting superstition & blind belief

NEW DELHI: Lemon TV has been warned by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for telecasting a programme ‘Khauf ke 10 Destinations’ on 11 December, 2013 referring to 10 places in Mumbai, which it claimed are haunted and where there was dominance of evil spirits and invisible powers.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee, which had received a reply to its show-cause notice and even heard channel representatives in October last year said ‘strict compliance’ may be ensured by Lemon News TV Channel. 

Any further violation shall entail such action against Lemon News TV channel as deemed fit in accordance with the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Rules framed thereunder as also the terms and conditions of the permission/approval granted under uplinking/downlinking, the MIB said.

The channel, in its reply to the show-cause notice, said it had not only clarified in the programme that it did not believe in such superstitions, but had interviewed people who said these stories related to the past. When asked to appear before the IMC, the channel representatives had tendered an apology.

However, the IMC said the channel presented the so-called incidents in an overtly sensational manner thereby appearing to instill superstition in the minds of viewers. It was noted by IMC that the channel created horrifying sound effects and also created images of ghost during the telecast of this programme giving the whole programme a horrendous look.

The IMC thus observed that the telecast of the programme seemed to promote blind belief and superstition and there was clear violation of the provisions of the programme code, particularly Rules 6(1)(a), 6(1) (i) and 6(1) (o).

The IMC noted that even though the channel had apologized for the lapse, it could not escape the responsibility of ensuring content on their channel, which must be in conformity with the programme code at all times.

Lemon TV had shown a number of stories connected with evil spirits and also telecast bytes of local people who seem to have experienced these incidents. The reporting appeared to be intended to generate fear, anxiety and phobia in the minds of the viewers. Telecasting such programme in a news channel appeared to sensationalise  with little news value. This programme appeared to offend good taste and decency, encourages superstition or blind belief as also, the programme did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, the IMC said.

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