The government has decided to ban Red FM, a popular radio channel, for a week for allegedly airing racist remarks against the Gurkhas that trigged riots in Siliguri in West Bengal, last week.
However, the ban will come into force only after TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal), a tribunal for broadcast sector, decides on the petition filed by Red FM against any action by the government.
“We will wait for TDSAT’s decision before proceeding against Red FM,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said.
TDSAT on Monday had allowed the government to go ahead with its scheduled proceedings against the FM radio channel for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Indian Idol winner Prashant Tamang. “It is ordered that the respondent (I&B Ministry) will be free to proceed with the show-cause notice and take a decision that it feels proper or necessary in view of the facts and circumstances of the case,” TDSAT chairman Justice Arun Kumar said while hearing a plea by the radio channel.
The TDSAT also held that any order or direction passed by the Ministry would not be implemented till October 4, the next date of hearing. The tribunal issued a notice to the ministry, which was received by its counsel Vineet Malhotra.
The radio channel had approached the tribunal against a show-cause notice issued by the ministry on September 29.
During the proceedings, the channel’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi alleged that in the notice, the government acted without giving it an opportunity to present its case.