India amends cable TV rules to address complaints of citizens
Ministry places accountability and responsibility on broadcasters
The Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said in a statement on Thursday that the government has amended the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, adding a statutory mechanism to redress citizens grievances/complaints relating to content.
The rules have been amended in accordance with the provisions of the Cable Television Network Act, 1995, the ministry said.
It also said that the 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 Cable Television Network Rules have been amended to provide for a statutory mechanism, which would be transparent and benefit the citizens. At the same time, self-regulating bodies of broadcasters would be registered with the Central government," the statement said.
At present, there is an institutional mechanism in the form of an inter-ministerial committee to address the grievances of citizens relating to violation of the Programme/Advertising Codes under the Rules. Similarly, various broadcasters have also developed their internal self-regulatory mechanism for addressing grievances.
Some broadcasters had also requested for giving legal recognition to their associations/bodies.
While expressing satisfaction over the existing mechanism of grievance redressal set up by the Central government, the Supreme Court in its order in the matter of ‘Common Cause Vs Union of India & Others' in 2000 had advised to frame appropriate rules to formalise the complaint redressal mechanism.
At present, there are over 900 television channels which 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.
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