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Apologise or be ready to go off air

In a strong message, the Govt has asked six music channels to apologise for telecasting objectionable videos.

india Updated: Jun 11, 2006 16:39 IST

In a strong message to erring television channels, the Government has asked six channels, including music channels MTV and Channel V, to apologise for telecasting "objectionable videos" or be ready to be pulled off air.

"A personal hearing had been given to the channels and after that it was decided that the channels should apologise on air, through a scroll, for three days beginning June 16," an official of Information and Broadcasting Ministry said.

Apart from MTV and Channel V, other channels facing the heat are ITV, B4U, MH1 and ETC.

In the scroll, the channels will have to say, "The Information and Broadcasting Ministry issues a warning to the music channel for violating programme code. This TV channel assures to be more careful in future."

The official said that the action by the Ministry, issued under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, follows a December order of the Mumbai High Court, which said that only 'U' certified songs should be telecasted on air.

The channels had originally been served the notice in February, but managed a temporary reprieve as they sought a personal hearing with Ministry officials. However, the meeting failed to cut much ice in their favour.

The Government is in the process of elaborating the current strictures in the Programme and Advertising Code. This, say officials, will give little space to channels who often escape the stick by claiming they were not aware of what is prohibited.

First Published: Jun 11, 2006 13:29 IST