IFJ urges government to review licence suspension of 2 channels

NEW DELHI:The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has urged the government to reconsider the summary termination of broadcast permission granted two satellite TV channels – Live India and Jeevan TV.

While Live India TV was ordered off the air for one month as a penalty for airing a fake "sting" operation wrongly implicating a school-teacher in Delhi in a prostitution racket, the Malayalam channel Jeevan TV was taken of the air for failure to comply with the revised guidelines for satellite uplinking and for airing news programmes without security clearance.

The IFJ noted that the banning of a channel for an arbitrary period of one month without due process of law serves no public purpose and the government should have waited for the legal process to take its own course against the channel. The IFJ agreed that there may be a case against the channel and a credible case to be made for lawful recompense to the school-teacher who suffered serious trauma and irreparable damage to her reputation on account of the fake "sting" operation.

Jeevan TV, which has been broadcasting since July 2002, has similarly been ordered off the air without even an appearance of due process.

"Whatever their motivations, these actions of the Indian government only highlight its continuing failure to enact a credible regulatory framework for the broadcast sector," said IFJ Asia Pacific director Jacqueline Park.

"The law must be allowed to run its course in the case of India Live TV and Jeevan TV must be given a fair hearing in an appropriate forum before it is ordered off the air," Park said.

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