Government amends Cable Television Network Rules
The change will lay down a statutory mechanism for strengthening the grievance redressal structure
A statutory mechanism has been put in place for redressal of grievances and complaints of citizens relating to content broadcast by television channels.
The Central Government has brought this change to strengthen the grievance redressal structure by issuing a notification amending the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.
The notification is in accordance with the provisions of the Cable Television Network Act, 1995, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said announcing the move on Thursday.
Till now, there was an institutional mechanism by way of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to address grievances of citizens relating to violation of the Programme and Advertising Codes under the Rules.
Similarly, various broadcasters have also developed their internal self-regulatory mechanism for addressing grievances, the ministry said.
However, a need was felt to lay down a statutory mechanism for strengthening the grievance redressal structure. Some broadcasters had also requested for giving legal recognition to their associations and bodies.
The ministry also referred to an order by the Supreme Court in WP(C) No.387 of 2000 in the matter of “Common Cause Vs Union of India & Others”. While expressing satisfaction over the existing mechanism of grievance redressal set up by the Central Government, the SC had advised to frame appropriate rules to formalize the complaint redressal mechanism.
Keeping this background in mind, the Cable Television Network Rules have been amended to provide for this statutory mechanism. The system would be transparent and benefit the citizens, the ministry maintained.
At the same time, self-regulating bodies of broadcasters would be registered with the Central Government.
Over 900 television channels have been granted permission by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and all of them are required to comply with the Programme and Advertising Code laid down under the Cable Television Network Rules.
"The above notification is significant as it paves the way for a strong institutional system for redressing grievances while placing accountability and responsibility on the broadcasters and their self-regulating bodies," the I&B Ministry noted.