Staff Reporter

`Draft guidelines have been placed before the Union Cabinet'

  • After the Cabinet's approval, the draft will be placed in Parliament
  • Deadline for committee to submit report extended till August 31
  • Hearing in the case adjourned to November 7

    BANGALORE: The Centre on Monday informed the Karnataka High Court that draft rules for a comprehensive bill for regulating cable television (Cable TV), private television channels and other channels (foreign) which downlink their programmes to Indian audience from abroad have been prepared and it was before the Union Cabinet.

    Additional Solicitor-General Aravind Kumar submitted that once the Cabinet cleared the draft, it would be placed before Parliament for its assent. He said it took at least three months for the broadcasting bill to come into being.

    During the earlier hearing, he had said that the draft was in an advanced stage of preparation and that it would be placed before the court once it was enacted. The Centre, he said, had extended till August 31, the time for a committee constituted by it to submit a report on the programme code for broadcasters, including private television networks and Cable TV. The proposals of the committee would find place in the bill.

    Mr. Aravind Kumar had filed an affidavit on behalf of the Centre before a Bench comprising Justice S.R. Bannurmath and Justice Subash B. Adi, which is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by a Bangalore-based advocate A.V. Amarnathan on the telecast of crime-based serials in two Kannada channels, Udaya and ETV.

    The Bench had made the Centre a party to the petition and directed it to file its response.

    Advertising code

    In its additional statement filed in the court, the Centre said that on October 3, 2005 a committee had been constituted for reviewing the programme and advertising code prescribed under the TV Network (Regulation) Act and the guidelines for certification of films prescribed under the Cinematography Act of 1952.

    It said since the guidelines for the certification of the films and codes prescribed for Cable TV did not cover in detail all the aspects of film and television programming, there was a need to draft new provisions.

    The Bench adjourned hearing on the case to November 7.