The Information & Broadcasting Ministry has asked private TV channels to broadcast content strictly adhering to the Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable TV Act.
In its advisory, the Ministry stressed on the provisions in the Programming Code that states that no “programme should contain anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false, suggestive innuendos and half-truths.”
In addition, it stated that the Code prescribes that no programme should “criticise, malign or slander any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public or moral life of the country.”
This advisory comes at a time when serious concerns have been raised about what is termed the rising toxicity in content aired by news channels.
The advisory by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry also noted the recent observations of the Delhi High Court in the matter of Rakul Preet Singh Vs Union of India. In its September 17, order, the Court had said, “As far as the prayer for further interim relief made in the application by the petitioner, it is hoped that media houses and television channels would show restraint in reporting and abide by the provisions of the programme code as also the various guidelines, both statutory and self-regulatory, while making any report in relation to the petitioner.”
The Ministry’s advisory has been sent to various broadcasters and industry associations including the News Broadcasters Association, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation, and the Association of Regional Television Broadcaster of India. The Ministry has asked broadcasters to ensure compliance of the directions.