Only 88 of 8K Media Law Breach Cases Addressed. Govt, Care Much?
The govt took action in only 88 cases as opposed to thousands of reported cases of violations by TV Channels.
The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC), set up under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), reported thousands of violations of various media laws by TV channels. As per the latest information provided by the government, action was taken in just 88 such cases.
The MIB has reportedly ordered NDTV India to go off air for a day in breach of programme code. But it is one of the rare instances where action has been taken by the MIB. Factly had earlier reported that thousands of violations of media laws by television channels were reported by the EMMC. It is now revealed that the MIB has taken action in only a handful of cases since 2013 (88 to be precise).
The EMMC reported hundreds of violations in various categories, including violation of the Cinematograph Act, the advertisement code and the program code for private TV channels.
Violation of Cinematograph Act
The EMMC reported hundreds of violations for each month in 2014-15 with respect to screening of films, for example, non-display of Censor certificate before screening of films, non-indication of Censor rating as part of film promos, which are otherwise cognisable and non-bailable offences under section 7(1) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
A total of 8,467 violations were reported in this category for the year 2014-15. Highest number of violations was in June 2014 and the lowest in December 2014.
Violation of Advertisement Code
As far as violations regarding advertisements are concerned, during the financial year 2014-15 alone,
- A whopping number of 5,566 violations were reported of rule 7(10) of Cable Networks Rules, 1994. These relate to the distracting ‘part-screen’ and ‘scrolling’ ads interfering with the programme and ‘paid promotional programmes’ telecast under the garb of news.
Rule 7(10) of the said rules read thus:
“All advertisements should be clearly distinguishable from the programme and should not in any manner interfere with the programme viz., use of lower part of screen to carry captions, static or moving alongside the programme.“
2,965 instances of surrogate advertisements of liquor/tobacco products were reported in the same period.
1,245 instances of misleading advertisements were reported, i.e., superstitious and deceptive ads of kavachas, yantras, medicines, creams etc. claiming to posses miraculous powers, which are otherwise serious offences under Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1955.
What is EMMC?
The Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) was established in 2008 as a subordinate office under the MIB with the exclusive task of monitoring content of private satellite TV channels for violations of Programme Code and Advertising Code.
At present, the EMMC records and monitors around 600 TV channels. It monitors and carries out a scrutiny of violations by electronic media in accordance with codes framed under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995. The EMMC puts out reports on violations along with the recorded clips to the Scrutiny Committee, which examines and goes into the purported violations and forwards its findings to the Inter-Ministerial Committee and other bodies for further action.
Government Takes Action Only in a Handful of Cases
Out of the thousands of violations reported by the EMMC, the government has taken action only in a handful (88 to be precise) since 2013. This information was shared by the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting in the Rajya Sabha. The action against NDTV India was taken in the light of an advisory issued by the MIB in July 2015 that talks about coverage of anti-terrorist operations by security forces.
The details of action taken against the content telecast on private satellite TV channels in violation of the Programme and Advertising Codes since 2013 is given below.
Names of TV Channels:
(This article was originally published in Factly)
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