Scatmag.com

February 2017

SC FOR REDRESSAL MECHANISM



SC: REDRESSAL FOR VIEWERS

On 12 January, a Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, asked the government to set up a statutory mechanism for redressal of complaints against content on private TV channels and radio stations.

Referring to section 22 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, the bench asked the I&B ministry to constitute a body to deal with citizens' complaints against content. The ministry has been asked to "formalise the complaint redressal mechanism" and accord "adequate publicity" so as to enable the public approach it with their complaints.


NBA EFFECTIVE ?

The apex court however did not comment on the claim by the News Broadcasters Association and Association or Radio Operators of India that their selfregulatory mechanism was effective.






PIL DISPOSED

The bench disposed of the 2013 PIL filed by NGO "Mediawatch India" which had stated that "For the last one and a half decades, the Ministry of I&B is perpetuating virtual anarchy in the realm of broadcast media regulation. Especially on the content regulation front, its broadcaster-appeasing and wait-and-watch policies marked by sheer ad hocism and indifference to viewers' interests are adversely affecting the rights of millions of broadcast media consumers."


NEWS ON RADIO

The court also sought a response from the Centre on a plea made by NGO, 'Common Cause' to allow private FM radio stations, including community radios, to broadcast news, since TV channels have been permitted this for decades. India has 245 private FM channels and 145 community radio stations.

"India is perhaps the lone democracy where dissemination of news and current affairs programmes on radio remains a monopoly of the government-owned broadcaster, which owns and operates All India Radio / Akashvani," the NGO had contended.

The Supreme Court asked the government to reply within 4 weeks n