Editors dismayed over I&B’s notice to 3 news channels over Yakub Memon’s hanging

NEW DELHI: The Broadcast Editors’ Association (BEA) has reacted strongly to the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry's notice to three television news channels relating to their coverage of stories linked to the 1993 serial bombing convict Yakub Memon’s hanging.


Referring to the show cause notices sent to ABP News, Aaj Tak and NDTV, the Association expressed concern over the “apparent tendency among governments, both at the centre and in some states, to serve notices on media organisations in a selective manner.”


Expressing dismay, BEA said it would take up this issue with the government at the highest level.


Meanwhile, confirming the issuance of the show cause notices to the three channels, a senior official of the I&B Ministry told that the channels had been given a time of 15 days to reply.


The official said that the matter would then go to the Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by the Additional Secretary of the Ministry along with several members from other Ministries.


It is learnt that the notice asks why action should not be taken against the channels for carrying reports that amounted to contempt of the institution of the President as also the judiciary. It was stated in the notice that some of the coverages amounted to violation of some sections of the Programme Code. 


One of the sections says that no programme should be carried, which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes. 


Another section also asks channels not to carry anything, which contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary. 


Two of the broadcasters to whom notices have been sent had reportedly aired phone-in interviews of underworld figure Chhota Shakeel, while another channel is learnt to have telecast remarks of Memon's lawyer. 


Memon was convicted in 2007 as the person behind the attack in Mumbai in 1993 in which 257 people were killed as bombs exploded back to back.

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