Reality television show Bigg Boss season 4 will continue to be aired on the prime time slot at 9pm following a reprieve from the Bombay high court on Saturday.
A vacation bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice UD Salvi allowed Colors channel to air the show at 9pm till December 27 while directing the Ministry of Information and Broadcast (I&B) to file its reply.
Viacom18 Media Private Ltd had filed petition in the high court on Friday after the I&B issued a fresh order directing them to shift the show from the 9pm slot to the 11pm slot, because its content was objectionable and not fit for children, the ministry said.
The court observed that the channel could air Bigg Boss at 9pm following an undertaking given by the petitioners (Viacom18) that they shall not screen any dialogue that is required to be beeped or any obscene gestures made by the participants.
Viacom18's lawyers - senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and advocate Ameet Naik - informed the court that they are ready to handover CDs of unedited episodes to I&B. The ministry can watch the episode and edit the objectionable portion if any from it, the lawyers said.
"We are ready to provide them the CDs in advance. They can censor it and then we will telecast the episodes," Jethmalani told the court.
Jethmalani informed the court that the show is going to end in two weeks time. After October 4, the channel has not telecast any episode, which had objectionable language or scenes, according to I&B, added Jethmalani.
Lawyers for I&B - Senior advocate G S Sharma and advocate Vinod Joshi - earlier accepted the petitioner’s proposal of pre-screening the episodes, but later sought time to file reply as they had not received any instructions from the Ministry.
Viacom18 filed a fresh petition after they failed to receive any reprieve from the I&B.
On December 8, a division bench of high court had directed the I&B to issue a fresh show-cause notice to the petitioners giving specific material against which it had objections. I&B was asked to pass appropriate order only after hearing Viacom18's reply.
Initially, I&B had issued notice to Colors channel on November 16 directing it to shift the reality show away from the prime time as the show offended "good taste and decency".