The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcastin has amended the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, in order to set up a three-tier mechanism for redressal of viewers grievance relating to content broadcasted by Television channels in contravention of Progarmme Code or Advertising Code. They have come into force with their notification in the Official Gazette by Friday i.e. 18th June.
Redressal structure are as follows-
Level I – A self-regulation by broadcasters;
Level II – Self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters; and
Level III – Oversight mechanism by the Central Government.
Provision for self- regulation by broadcasters:
Every Broadcaster is expected to establish a complaint redressal mechanism and appoint an officer to deal with the complaints received by it.So, that if any person aggrieved by the content of a programme of a channel may file his complaint in writing to the broadcaster who will be bound to issue an acknowledgement to the complainant, within 24 hours and to dispose of the complaint within 15 days.
Provisions for Self-regulation by the self-regulating body:In case the grievance is not resolved or if the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome, s/he may prefer an appeal to the self-regulating body of which such broadcaster is a member, within fifteen days therefrom.
Every such self-regulating body shall be constituted by a minimum of 40 broadcasters, and will have to register itself with the Central Government within a period of 30 days.
It will be headed by a retired Supreme Court/ High Court judge.
The self-regulating bodies will be empowered to:
(i) issue advisory, warning, censure, admonish or reprimand the broadcaster; or
(ii) direct the broadcaster to issue an apology;
(iii) include a warning card or a disclaimer in its content;
(iv) in case of any content where it is satisfied that there is a need for taking action to delete or modify content, refer it to the Central Government for the consideration of the oversight mechanism for appropriate action.
Oversight Mechanism by central Government :Where the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the self-regulating body, s/he may prefer an appeal to the Central Government for consideration under the Oversight Mechanism, within 15 days.This body will inter alia, be empowered to take action for non-compliance of its orders or directions and that of the self-regulating body.