Focus monitoring of television content through the route of the aggrieved consumer

New rules focused on consumer complaints

It created a statutory complaint appeal mechanism at three levels, in line with that introduced in the new rules on information technology.

Anita Joshua


New Delhi

Posted on 18.06.21, 02:43 AM

On Thursday, the Center decided to establish control over television content through the aggrieved consumer by creating a statutory three-tier complaints redress mechanism, in line with that introduced in the new IT rules. .

The government has always been given the power to take action against programs that did not comply with the program code and the advertising code. But the new rules notified by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting open a window to take action against a network or program based on a consumer complaint.

An important addition appeared to be a central government oversight mechanism.

According to the changes notified in the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, on Thursday, each broadcaster will have to have its own complaints mechanism.

If they are not satisfied with the steps taken at this level, a complainant can turn to broadcasters’ self-regulatory mechanism like the News Broadcasters Standards Authority (NBSA), which has been in operation for a decade now.

In the event that the complainant remains dissatisfied with the measures taken at this level as well, there will be the control mechanism of the central government. It will be an interdepartmental committee headed by the additional secretary of the I&B ministry, with representatives from the ministries of women and child development, home, electronics and technology in the home. information, external affairs and defense, as well as experts.

Recognizing the existence of an institutional mechanism through an inter-ministerial committee to deal with complaints and self-regulatory mechanisms of broadcasters / associations, the ministry said that there was still a need to establish a statutory mechanism to strengthen the complaint resolution structure.

“Some broadcasters had also asked for legal recognition of their associations / organizations,” said the ministry.

He added that in 2000, the Supreme Court, while expressing satisfaction with the existing complaints mechanism set up by the central government, had “advised to develop appropriate rules to formalize the complaints mechanism. “.

While some channels already have their own redress mechanisms, many are also members of one of the three main self-regulatory structures that news and non-news networks have created after resisting efforts. successive governments in the past, including the Atal Bihari Vajpayee exemption, to install a broadcast regulatory setup for the industry.

Besides the NBSA, there is the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council for non-news channels and the National Broadcasters Federation, which is the second such collective for news channels.

There has been no immediate response from broadcasters to the new rules announced Thursday night by I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar via Twitter, a social media platform on which the government currently disagrees with over-adhering to the rules. new information technology directives.

“The @MIB_India, by amending the rules of the cable television network in 1994, developed a statutory mechanism to address the grievances and complaints of citizens against the programs of the television channels. The @MIB_India also decided to recognize the statutory bodies of TV channels under CTN rules, ”Javadekar tweeted.

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