The ministry of information and broadcasting on Sunday served a show-cause notice to the Punjabi channel PTC for relaying the advertisements of a specific political party after the campaigning for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections ended on Friday
Asking the channel to reply within three days as to why no action should be initiated against it, a spokesman of the union ministry said, "The channel showed advertisements on January 26, clearly canvassing votes in favour of a particular political party in connection with the DSGMC elections."
The directorate of gurdwara elections of the Delhi government had issued a memo dated January 26 to the PTC channel, informing "the continuous running of advertisements by the PTC news channel on January 26 (Saturday) till midnight exhorting the voters to vote in favour of a particular party/candidate is a violation of the model code of conduct as well as section 126 of the Representation of People Act".
The campaign period had ended at 5pm on January 25.
Despite the memo, the channel carried on with the advertisements continuously from 5am till midnight on January 26, the ministry observed in the show-cause notice.
"The advertisements showed messages from prominent political figures of a particular political persuasion appealing to voters to vote in favour of a particular political party," it stated.
The notice also cited Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules that contains the advertising code to be strictly adhered to by all private satellite television channels.
If no reply is received within the three days, it would be presumed that the channel had nothing to say in the matter and the action as deemed fit, as flowing from the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, read with the terms and conditions for permission for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels in India, would be taken against the channel, the notice said.