File photo of Sudarshan News' Suresh Chavhanke | Facebook
File photo of Sudarshan News' Suresh Chavhanke | Facebook
Text Size:

New Delhi: The inter-ministerial committee (IMC), which decides if private television channels have violated broadcast rules and the degree of violation, will hear the Sudarshan TV case Thursday. The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has informed the channel of the development.

Sudarshan TV has run into trouble after airing episodes of its controversial show Bindas Bol, which claimed that there was an alleged “conspiracy” by Muslims to infiltrate the civil services.

In a letter to the channel dated 29 September, accessed by ThePrint, the I&B ministry has called the representatives of Sudarshan TV channel for a personal hearing to present their position before the IMC Thursday. The IMC can only recommend action — the final call is taken by the I&B ministry.

The letter was sent a day after the channel submitted its reply to the ministry’s show-cause notice seeking to know why action should not be taken against it.

The Modi government had on 23 September also informed the Supreme Court that the show — four episodes of which have already been aired — had prima facie violated the programme code. The apex court is hearing the matter.

The IMC

The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC), under the I&B ministry, monitors the content telecast on all private television channels to check if they adhere to the Programme and Advertising Code.

However, specific complaints on code violations are looked into by the inter-ministerial committee (IMC), which comprises representatives from multiple ministries. It looks into complaints against private satellite television channels, suo motu or otherwise. The panel is headed by the additional secretary of the I&B ministry.

In 2016, it was the IMC that had found NDTV India violative of the programme code set under the Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2015.

Following this, the ministry asked the channel to go off air for 24 hours, even as the decision was put on hold later.

“IMC is a recommendatory entity and has no legal powers. It does not decide on the action to be taken on a channel if it has violated broadcast rules. The decision is taken by the I&B ministry,” a senior government official explained.

For instance, in March this year, when the I&B ministry decided to ban two Malayalam channels for 48 hours, stating that their reports sided “towards a particular community” among other violations, the IMC was not convened, ThePrint has learnt.

The decision was reversed within the next few hours by the ministry.


Also read: Supreme Court giving Sudarshan News case a constitutional colour is curious


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

VIEW COMMENTS

1 COMMENT

  1. मगर, लगाये गये UPSC जेहाद का जांच नहीं करवाएगा ” हरामखोर “।
    सर्वर काम नहीं कर रहा है? जब देश के खिलाफ इस्लामिक आतंकवादी संगठन को समर्थन करते हो तब सर्वर काम करता है।

Comments are closed.