Standing Committee wants complete digitisation before amending act on illegal channels

NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Standing Committee has opposed any amendments to the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act 1995 with regards to illegal channels.


Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources told that the Committee on Information Technology in its 36th report observed that the requirement of amending legislation may not be feasible in view of the ongoing process of digitisation of cable network as it can provide solution to address the issue of showing illegal / unregistered channels on the cable networks.


The Ministry had been informed by security agencies about carriage of some unregistered foreign channels by cable operators.


To address the problem of carriage of unregistered channels by cable operators, the Ministry had introduced the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Second Amendment Bill, 2011 in Lok Sabha on 15 December 2011 but this was referred to the Standing Committee.


There are 93 private satellite TV channels which are Uplinked from outside India and have been granted permission to downlink in India under the policy guidelines for Downlinking of Television Channels.


The scheme of enforcement envisaged under this Act is primarily through the authorized officers who are district magistrate, sub divisional magistrate and the commissioner of police of the State Governments.


Whenever a complaint is brought to the notice of the Ministry, they are sent to the authorized officers since the action as per the Act primarily remains in the domain of authorized officers, the sources said.


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