Regulators

I&B ministry acted against 126 violations of Programme Code in last 3 years

The information was provided by I&B minister Anurag Thakur in the Parliament.

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Mumbai: During 2018 to 2021, the Government took action against 126 cases of violation of Programme Code laid down in the Cable Television Networks (CTN) Rules, 1994 framed under Cable Television Networks Act, 1995. The action with respect to cases was taken by issuance of advisories, warnings, apology scroll orders, and off-air orders, said the ministry on Friday.

“Government has an institutional mechanism for taking action in respect of private TV channels which are found to violate the Programme Code. The I&B ministry also issues advisories from time to time to private satellite TV channels for adhering to the Programme Code," said the minister of information and broadcasting, Anurag Thakur in the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament.

The minister was responding to a query put forth in the Lok Sabha on whether the Government has taken cognizance of high decibel, sensationalist and slanderous news programmes/debates being hosted on Indian news channels. The Government was asked whether it has received complaints against news channels for violating the broadcasting guidelines and broadcasting fake news, hate and divisive agenda during the last three years.

The Government was also asked whether it is planning to initiate any code of conduct or broad guidelines for the debates that happen on electronic media and the time by which final decision is likely to be taken in this regard.

The Programme Code contains broad guidelines related to content broadcast on private television channels.

The guidelines also provide that no programme should contain anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos, and half-truths, and should not criticise malign or slander any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country.

The Rules provide for a three-level complaint redressal mechanism; Level I by the broadcaster, Level II by the self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters; and Level III by oversight mechanism of the Central Government.

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