79 cases lodged against news channels from 2020 for slanderous programmes: Govt
Union minister of information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur told Parliament on Thursday no program should telecast content that promotes communal violence
The Centre has lodged 79 cases from 2020 till now in a bid to take action against private news channels for broadcasting slanderous programmes on news channels by the issuance of advisories, warnings, ‘apology scroll’ and ‘off-air’ orders, Union minister of information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur told Parliament on Thursday.
The minister also said that television channels should adhere to the Programme Code laid down under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and that no program should telecast content that promotes communal violence.
He said the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act addressed such issues while categorising them into a three-level complaint redressal mechanisms which involved the broadcaster in Level I, the self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters in level II and Level III by oversight mechanism of the central government.
“The Programme Code inter alia provides that no program should be telecast which offends against good taste or decency and is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition. The government takes appropriate action when a violation of the Programme Code is found,” said Thakur, responding to Aam Aadmi Party members of Parliament (MPs) Raghav Chadha and Narain Dass Gupta who sought a response from the ministry on advisory to TV channels and action that the ministry was taking to cut down on provoking content.
While responding to another query raised by YSR Congress Party MP, Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy, who had urged the I&B ministry to open up about the violation of ethical codes by print media, Thakur noted that the Press Council of India (PCI) has framed “Norms of Journalistic Conduct” for adherence by the media. The Council takes cognizance, suo-motu or on complaints, of the contents in print media that are in violation of the ‘Norms of Journalistic Conduct’.
“As per Section 14 of the Act, the Council, after holding an inquiry, may warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist, as the case may be. The Print Media Advertisement Policy, 2020 inter alia provides for action by CBC against a newspaper on the basis of findings/ recommendations received by it from the Press Council of India,” Thakur added.