Saturday, 5 November 2016

One day ban on NDTV is illegal

I spoke just now with Ravish Kumar of NDTV, and told him that the one day ban on NDTV was illegal. That is because Rule 6(1)(p) of the Programme Code of the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994 under which the ban was imposed states :

" No programme should be carried in the cable service which contains live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces, wherein media coverage shall be restricted to periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate Government..., till such operation concludes "

Thus, the ban is on showing ' live coverage ' of anti terrorist operations by the security forces. Live coverage means showing scenes of security forces searching or pursuing terrorists, or fighting with them. Mere reporting about anti terrorist operations is not live coverage. NDTV had only reported about anti terrorist operations, but had not shown any scenes of security forces chasing or fighting with terrorists. So there was no live coverage. The ban was therefore clearly illegal.

I also told Ravish that no freedom can be absolute, and can be restricted in the interest of society or the state security. But the ban imposed was only on live coverage not on mere reporting of anti terrorist operations.

I also told him that the media people perhaps did not read rule 6(1) (p) carefully, and have been only making general remarks against violation of media freedom and democracy.
Evidently this point did not strike any media people, and Ravish said he will take it up with the concerned people

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