The Delhi High Court has upheld the Centre's decision to stop for ten days transmission of an entertainment channel for airing "obscene" dialogues and "vulgar" words besides being derogatory to women.
Accepting the recommendation of Inter Ministerial Council (IMC), the I&B Ministry on May 17 had asked Comedy Central to go off air from today till June 4 for telecasting "offensive" words in 'Stand Up Club' and 'Popcorn' programmes on May 26 and July 4 last year.
Dismissing a plea of Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd against the government decision, Justice V K Jain said the penalty prohibiting the telecast of the channel for ten days cannot be termed as "excessive, harsh or unreasonable." "Considering that the penalty could be prohibition of telecast upto 30 days for first violation and upto 90 days in case of second violation, the penalty imposed upon the channel cannot be said to be excessive or unreasonable.
"Even if one were to exclude the second violation i.e.telecast of the programme 'Popcorn' from consideration, the penalty, prohibiting the telecast for ten days for the first violation alone cannot be said to be excessive, harsh or unreasonable," the court said referring to 2011 Policy Guidelines for up-linking of television channels from India.
A perusal of the impugned order would show that CD recording of the offending programmes were previewed by IMC which found it to be very offensive, crossing all limitations of good taste and decency, the court said.
On May 17, the Ministry had prohibited transmission or retransmission of the channel for 10 days on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hours on May 25 till 00:01 hours on June 4.