Special Correspondent

"Not within the rights of a State government to take over cable TV regulation"

AIADMK government passed the Bill in JanuaryGovernor sent it back quoting the Constitution

CHENNAI: The State Cabinet here on Friday decided to withdraw the Cable TV Bill, intended to take over operation of multi-system operators, saying it was not within the rights of a State Government.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government passed the Tamil Nadu Acquisition, Transfer and Taking Over of the Administration of Cable Television Network (Including Multiple Service Optical Transport System) Bill, 2006, in January this year, to "set right the deficiency and faults in the service offered by cable TV networks."

On April 24, the Governor sent back the Bill, quoting the Constitution to inform the Government that the relevant powers vested with the Centre.

The Cabinet said when a dispute on similar lines had come before the High Court, it had held: "State cannot continue to regulate Cable Network after enactment of Law by Central Government Cable Network comes under Entry 31 of List I; VIIth Schedule."

It also pointed out that when the Tamil Nadu Exhibition Television Screen through Multi-System Operations, Video Cassette Recorder and Cable Television Network (Regulation) Bill was sent to the President in 2002, it was returned quoting the same reason: "The subject `Broadcasting and other forms of communications' is contained in Entry 31 of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, on which the Union has exclusive powers to make laws.

The Bill [of] 2002 is beyond the competence of the State Legislatures to the extent it seeks to regulate Cable Television Networks and Multi-System Operators."

Illegal sand mining

Later talking to presspersons, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said the State Government would not hesitate to invoke the Goondas Act against illegal sand miners.

Answering a question on the death of a head constable, he said the Director-General of Police had confirmed that it was not a sand-laden truck that fatally knocked down the policeman.

About the disinvestment in the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Mr. Karunanidhi said he was yet to hear from the Prime Minister.

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