New Delhi: Naming troubles may not be over yet for the new kid on the block in India’s English TV news landscape. The channel promoted by Congress leader Kapil Sibal has gone from being called HTN News to now Tiranga TV, but this name had actually been rejected by the information and broadcasting ministry on 13 February, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the ministry confirmed that the application was rejected because it was “violative of the Flag Code of India, 2002”, and that the decision was taken “after consulting an Additional Solicitor General”.
Once the ministry rejected its application, the channel, owned by Veecon Media and Broadcasting Pvt Ltd, appealed to the Telecome Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which granted it interim relief on 14 February.
TDSAT allowed it to change its name to Tiranga TV, but added that the permission may not apply to the use of the colours of the Tricolour, as proposed by the channel.
What’s in a name? Trouble
Veecon got into trouble over the name of its channel when Kerala-based Christian devotional channel Harvest TV accused it of riding on its goodwill and reputation by using its name and logo.
Kerala’s Harvest TV is owned by Bibi George Chacko, who contended that he had authorised Veecon to use the name and logo of Harvest TV for only two years, which expired on 31 January 2018.
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Veecon president Deepak Choudhry told ThePrint that the channel is currently using the Tiranga logo without the colours after the TDSAT order.
“TDSAT had permitted us to change the name of the channel from Harvest TV to Tiranga TV. The relief had come at an appropriate time, because Harvest Television Network Pvt. Ltd had a filed suit against Veecon before the district court at Thiruvananthapuram for restraining Veecon from using the name and logo,” Choudhry said.
The matter was also heard separately in a Kerala court and was settled Friday, he said.
“Today, however, a fresh application has been filed with the I&B ministry, where we have suggested three options for the logo of the channel as per TDSAT’s orders. The first is Tiranga TV with colours, the second is Tiranga TV without colours, and the third is HTN News. The alternate names were suggested just in case the home ministry in future raises issues with the current Tiranga TV logo,” Choudhry said.
Choudhry had earlier said that Veecon had been pursuing the case for changing its name with the I&B ministry September 2017.
A top ministry official had told ThePrint that the ministry had been planning to send a show-cause notice to the channel because it was “illegally” using the Harvest TV logo.
The channel has faced trouble since its inception. Just two days after its launch on 26 January, it had alleged that it was blacked out at the behest of the ministry, and was facing trouble with DTH operators and cable operators.
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