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BCCC directs 'Pehredaar Piya Ki' to late night slot with disclaimers

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NEW DELHI: The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), a self-regulatory body under the Indian Broadcasting Foundation umbrella, has asked Sony Pictures Network India to move its fictional serial Pehredaar Piya Ki, aired on one of its channels, to the 10 pm slot and simultaneously run a scroll that it doesn't promote child marriage.

The soap opera, with a story-line where a minor boy is shown married to a young-adult woman, who also doubles up as his security guard, had come under criticism for allegedly promoting regressive ideas like child marriage, which is an offence under Indian laws.

The BCCC directive to Sony Pictures Networks India, which came on Wednesday, was the first one chaired by its new chief Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen, according to news agency IANS.

“We had a monthly meeting and the channel officials were called for a discussion, which went on for quite long. After everything, they were directed that the timing of the show should be shifted to a late night slot of 10 pm  and that they must run a disclaimer. They (Sony Pictures Networks India) will have to comply,” a BCCC executive was quoted by IANS as saying.

Indiantelevision.com could not independently reach out to SPNI for its comments on the BCCC directive till the time of writing this report, which is based on what news agency IANS has filed.

Since the last BCCC meeting, the body received around 138 fresh complaints against `Pehredaar Piya Ki’, which is produced by Shashi Sumeet  Productions and went on air last month. The makers had been defending it, saying viewers must understand the circumstances in which the girl has to marry the boy child, the news agency report stated.

Earlier, some media reports quoted the minister of information & broadcasting (MIB) Smriti Irani, when asked about the controversy surrounding the Sony Pictures Networks India serial, saying that her ministry has asked the BCCC to look into the issue.

The serial stars Tejaswi Prakash Wayangankar as Diya Ratan Singh and Afaan Khan as her husband Prince Ratan Singh.

Set up in June 2011, BCCC is an independent self-regulatory body for non-news general entertainment channels under the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, an apex body of a large number of general and factual entertainment TV channels operating in India. IBF website states its members manage 350+ channels and about 90 per cent of television viewership across country.

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