Central government changes cable TV network rules

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The central government today issued a notice amending the rules of the cable television network, 1994, thus providing a statutory mechanism for the resolution of citizens’ grievances / complaints regarding the content broadcast by the television channels in accordance with the provisions of the Cable TV Network Act, 1995.

At present, there is an institutional mechanism through an inter-ministerial committee to deal with citizen complaints regarding violation of program / advertising codes under the rules. Likewise, various broadcasters have also developed their internal self-regulation mechanism to deal with grievances. However, there was a need to establish a statutory mechanism to strengthen the grievance structure. Some broadcasters had also requested legal recognition of their associations / organizations. The Honorable Supreme Court, in its Order WP (C) No. 387 of 2000 in the “Common Cause against Indian Union and Others” case, while expressing its satisfaction with the existing grievance mechanism put in place. place by the central government, had advised to develop appropriate rules to formalize the complaints mechanism.

In the aforementioned context, the rules of the cable television network have been amended to provide for this statutory mechanism, which would be transparent and benefit citizens. At the same time, the self-regulatory bodies of broadcasters would be registered with the central government.

At present, over 900 TV channels have obtained authorization from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and all are required to comply with the Program and Advertising Code established under the Network Rules. cable television. The above notification is important as it paves the way for a strong institutional system to address grievances while placing responsibility and accountability on broadcasters and their self-regulatory bodies.

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