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Channel in dock for airport porn gaffe

india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 06:09 IST
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Close to two years after waiting passengers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were shocked to see a pornographic film air on a television set there, the vice-president of a video channel and a cable TV operator were formally charged on Thursday in the case.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau framed charges against Col Shukla (retd), the vice-president of Trinity Channel which allegedly aired the film, and the cable operator who allegedly beamed the channel for the January 7, 2005, incident.

"There is no reason why the vice-president of Trinity Channel, who as per record was prima facie aware of the nonsense being run on his channel, should be discharged. More so when the material on record prima facie shows this was done only with an intent to increase viewership," said Lau.

Aired at 12.30 am on a TV set at Terminal–II of the airport, the film ran for 15-20 minutes and displayed the logo 'Trinity Channel', according to witnesses. The airport manager on duty captured the offensive film on CCTV cameras and immediately filed an FIR against the channel for showing a pornographic film.

Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code says publicly exhibiting or circulating obscene material in the form of printed material, clippings or films is illegal.

The police claimed that the channel, shut down soon after the incident, would air pornographic stuff between regular shows to boost falling TRP.

However, Puneet Mittal, counsel of Col Shukla (retd), said that the material on record does not prove anything against the accused. "There is no evidence on record to prove that anything obscene was being shown on the channel. If, however, anything obscene was shown, there is nothing that proves that my client knew about it," Mittal said.

As per the prosecution case, H Maji, manager (electronics), Airport Authority of India, lodged a complaint, saying that some obscene movie was being shown on Trinity Channel at Terminal–II of the airport.

Vikram Singh, airport manager on duty, captured the film on CCTV cameras.

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