Acting on a complaint by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to NDTV Imagine over its Pati Patni Aur Who show.
The Ministry invoked three provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act. According to the code, programmes should not offend good taste or decency, and denigrate children. Also, no cable operator should carry any programme which is unsuitable for unrestricted public exhibition.
The notice was issued on a day the channel won round one of its court battle with the NCPCR. The Delhi High Court allowed the channel to continue airing the reality show, staying the NCPCR directive that it immediately stop transmission.
The NCPCR last week asked the channel to stop airing the show as it violated child rights. Expressing surprise at the directive, the channel said the Commission had approached neither it nor the BBC — format owner and producer of the show — to seek clarifications.
Babies in care of TV couples
The Commission and the Ministry of Women and Child Development have taken umbrage at babies being left in the care of television couples for the show that is based on BBC’s “Baby Borrowers.”
The channel’s counter is that the show has been aired successfully in many countries and the BBC has full experience in ensuring children’s safety.
Further, according to NDTV Imagine, parents supervise the proceedings from cameras in adjacent rooms and are free to intervene if they perceive the slightest risk to their child. Also, the BBC has qualified nurses and doctors on call 24x7 in any emergency.