I&B ministry looks at decriminalising minor offences under Cable TV act

IT has taken a decision to delete the entire provision of Section 16, 17, 18

KOLKATA: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) is looking at decriminalising minor offences under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. As part of the ongoing exercise to reform governance, MIB has taken a decision to delete the entire provision of Section 16, Section 17 and Section 18 under the act. It has also sought comments of the general public and all the concerned stakeholders by 24 July.

Section 16 under chapter IV of the act lays down jail term up to five years for contravention of provisions of the act which includes proper registration of a cable TV network, transmission of programmes through addressable systems, use of standard equipment, not interfering with any telecommunication system. The act also includes programme code and advertising code. Hence, deletion of section 16 will bring an end to unnecessary jail terms, legal challenges for operators. 

Under the proposed amendment, the punishment will limit to seizing the equipment of the operator if the fault is at the level of cable operators. Any contravention of program code and advertising code will lead to cancellation of channel permission, forcible run of apology scroll. Treatment of Violations under Section 5 (Programme Code) and Section 6

(Advertisement Code) under Section 16 shall now be shifted to under Section 11 as its sub-Section (1).

The ministry is proposing deletion of Section 17 and Section 18 completely.  It comes under the broad exercise of the current central government which has planned to undertake a wide-ranging review of existing laws and decriminalize many” minor” offences. Earlier in June, the finance ministry on Wednesday proposed to decriminalise minor offences. 

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