The Central government has taken action in 163 cases of violations under the Programme Code laid down in the Cable Television Networks Rules in the past more than three years, according to Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Anurag Thakur.
“During the last three years and current year, the government has taken action in respect of 163 cases by issuance of advisories, warnings, apology scroll orders and off-air orders,” Mr. Thakur said on Tuesday, in a written reply to Lok Sabha MP Adoor Prakash’s query about the television news channel debates in which the participants made communally provocative and derogatory remarks.
Asking if the government had taken notice of such television debates, the Congress MP had sought details of the incidents and the action taken against the channels concerned during the last three years and the current year.
In his response, Mr. Thakur said all programmes telecast on private satellite television channels were required to adhere to the Programme Code laid down in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, framed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. The Code prohibits the telecast of any programme containing attacks on religions/communities or visuals/words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes.
“The government has an institutional mechanism for taking action in respect of private TV channels which are found to violate the Programme Code,” Mr. Thakur said .
The Central government has amended the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, through a notification on June 17, 2021, to provide for a statutory mechanism for redress of grievances and complaints alleging violation of the Programme Code and Advertising Codes of the broadcast by television channels. “The Rules provide for three-level complaint redress mechanisms — 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,” he said.
On April 23, the I&B Ministry had issued an advisory to all private satellite television channels to ensure strict compliance with the Programme Code and the rules framed thereunder.