The Central Government has today issued a Notice amending the Cable Television Network Rules 1994, thereby providing a statutory mechanism for the redress of grievances/complaints from citizens regarding content broadcast by television stations in accordance with the provisions of the Act from 1995 on the cable television network.
”The MIB_India (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) has, by amending the Cable TV Network Rules of 1994, developed a statutory mechanism to address grievances and complaints from citizens against the programs of TV channels . MIB_India has also decided to recognize the Statutory Bodies of TV Channels under CTN Rules,’ Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a tweet.
Currently, there is an institutional mechanism through an interdepartmental committee to deal with complaints from citizens regarding violation of programming/advertising codes under the rules. Similarly, various broadcasters have also developed their internal self-regulatory mechanism to deal with complaints.
However, the need was felt to put in place a statutory mechanism to strengthen the complaints redress structure. Some broadcasters have also applied for legal recognition of their associations/bodies, the notification says.
The Supreme Court in its Order WP(C) No. 387 of 2000 in the case “Common Cause v Union of India and Others”, while declaring itself satisfied with the existing grievance redress mechanism put in place by the central government, advised to develop appropriate rules to formalize the grievance redress mechanism.
In the aforementioned context, the rules of the cable television network were amended to provide for this statutory mechanism, which would be transparent and benefit citizens. At the same time, broadcasters’ self-regulatory bodies would be registered with the central government, he added.
At present, more than 900 TV stations have been licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, all of which are required to comply with the Program and Publicity Code established under the Network Rules cable television.
The above notification is significant as it paves the way for a strong institutional system to redress grievances while placing responsibility and accountability on broadcasters and their self-regulatory bodies, the ministry added.
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