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Government lifts ban on FTV

The government revokes the ban on FTV before the two-month period suspension of the channel it proscribed for beaming salacious images of skimpily-clad models.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2007 08:41 PM IST

Stung by criticism that it was indulging in moral policing, the government on Friday revoked the ban on FTV six days before the two-month period suspension of the channel it proscribed for beaming salacious images of skimpily-clad models.

The government relented on the ban on - a fashion channel that was banned for airing 'Midnight Hot' programme showing women in lingerie after the channel apologised and assured that "such error" will not be repeated in the future.

"The central government has revoked the prohibition imposed on transmission/re-transmission of India channel on all platforms with effect from today," the Information and Broadcasting Ministry announced on Friday.

"The revocation is subject to the condition that the suspended period of prohibition of six days shall be added to the penalty in case of any future violation of the Cable Act/Rules," the ministry added.

The government revoked the ban after the channel assured that it has put in place a strict vigilance committee to oversee the programme content telecast on India channel.

The vigilance panel will ensure that there is no violation of programme code contained in Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and also assured that any programming considered inappropriate by the ministry will be immediately removed, the ministry said.

The ministry banned FTV's Midnight Hot programme on April 1 on grounds that it showed "skimpily dressed and semi-naked models that violated good taste and decency and denigrated women."

Immediately after the ban, FTV claimed that its content was as per Indian regulations and said it provided an "international platform for Indian designers" and that its closing will adversely impact the promotion of the Indian fashion industry.

Earlier, the government had banned AXN's World's sexiest advertisements on similar grounds.

This act of moral policing sparked outrage among liberals and the fashion community that protested the move saying that the government should not presume to judge and decide what responsible adults alone should decide.

The government now appears to be having a rethink on the issue and is now considering allowing TV channels to beam adult content, but only at fixed time slots.

The government is considering fixing specific timings for TV channels to beam adult content, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi had told parliament early this month.

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