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'Broadcast Bill against fundamental rights'

Media leaders opposed the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, saying it is against one's rights.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2006 10:54 IST

Media leaders on Friday opposed the draft Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006, describing it as against the fundamental rights of free speech and free enterprise.

The participants, including Editor of Outlook Vinod Mehta, Vikram Chandra of NDTV, Dr N Bhaskara Rao of the Centre for Media Studies and Vinay Kumar of the Hindu, who is also in the Press Council of India, said the provisons of the Bill would substantially curtail the freedom of media.

Mehta said the "Bill should be scrapped and torn. It is so bad that it is beyond discussion."

Rao welcomed some provisions of the Bill like the one making 10 per cent of the programme India centric and made in India, but said the government cannot be allowed a role in regulating the media per sec.

He said content regulation should be done by the media themselves.

Kumar said the media, both print and electronic, should serve public interest.

Vikram Chadra said the government was simply indulging in arms-twisting on irrelevant issues.

Dr PG Kaushik, Director Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, which had organised the function, said the Bill was reflective of a confused Ministry.