India: MIB takes action against 163 violations
July 20, 2022
By Chris Forrester
India’s Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has taken action in 163 cases of private TV channels for violations of the country’s Programming Code over the past 3 years.
The MIB says its actions have included advisories notices, warnings, apology scroll orders, and – in extreme cases – ruling that channels be taken off-air.
The Ministry says that all private broadcasters were warned in April to ensure that its rules were complied with (under the Programme Code of the Cable Television Networks Act (Regulation) 1995).
The Programme Code states that no programme can be transmitted that contains an attack on religions or communities or has visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promotes communal attitudes.
One reminder, for example covered reporting of the Ukraine-Russia war and where some broadcasters had erred. Other decisions included 78 YouTube-based news channels and their related social media outlets where there had been infringements of the country’s Information Technology Act, 2000, and where 560 YouTube URLs had been blocked.
The Information Technology Act, 2000, allows the central government to issue directions to any government agency or an intermediary to block content in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to such matters.