The I&B ministry has sent a showcause notice to a private Punjabi news channel asking why it carried advertisements supporting candidates belonging to a particular party in the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee elections after campaign ended.
Official sources on Sunday said the ministry had been informed that campaign for the election was to end on January 25, but the Punjabi language channel PTC had aired advertisements canvassing support for certain candidates the next day as well.
The channel's CEO Rabindra Narayan, however, said that they had not violated any rule and had already "responded satisfactorily" to a memo they had earlier received from the Directorate of Gurudwara Election of the Delhi government.
Sources said that the ministry before sending its showcause notice had been informed that the channel had shown messages from prominent figures of a political party seeking votes in favour of their candidates on January 26.
There was a view that the telecast of advertisements on January 26, which was beyond the date of campaign, could be in violation of the rules, officials sources said.
They said the ministry also wanted to assess if the telecast was also in violation of the Advertising Code which bars channels from carrying content on behalf of political entities.
The I&B ministry grants permission to uplink and downlink channels in the country. The showcause notice was issued today and the channel has been asked to reply within three days, sources said.
"We had earlier received a memo from the Directorate of Gurudwara Election, a copy of which was sent to the I&B ministry also. We have already replied satisfactorily to the memo and will also reply to ministry," Narayan said.