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SC is upset with TV news coverage of violence, wants govt guidelines to regulate it

SC is upset with TV coverage of violence, wants guidelines to regulate it

The Supreme Court has expressed its strong disapproval of obscenity and violence being telecast on country's TV channels and said it has become impossible for families to sit together and watch the programmes being telecast, the Press Trust of India (PTI) has reported.

A three-judge Bench of Justices BN Aggrawal, GS Singhvi and Aftab Alam on Wednesday granted three weeks' time to the Union government to submit its views on the fate of the proposed broadcasting bill aimed at regulating the content in the electronic media.

Though Justices Aggrawal and Singhvi castigated the government for failing to rein in the channels, Justice Aftab Alam struck a note of caution hinting that more than regulation, there has to be some self-introspection by the content providers.

"It's a very delicate issue. What people should watch I personally feel that I should not be a guardian. But it has to be addressed," Justice Alam observed even as the other two judges criticised the government for "dilly dallying" on the proposed Bill.

The observations came during the hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in 2000 by NGO Common Cause seeking strict government regulation to check obscenity and violence shown on TV channels.

According to Justice Alam, "some of the programmes are interesting, while some are indifferent and others are detestable," but the other two judges had a totally different view.

"Mr Solicitor can you please tell us if there is even one single day in the 365 days where a family can sit together and watch the programme?" Justice Singhvi queried Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam.

The Hindu had some other details [Link]:

Mr. Justice Singhvi said: “Today, we saw a TV channel showing noted criminal Babloo Srivastava being surrounded by policemen and smoking cigarette while being escorted to the court. Can you imagine what impact it will have on the minds of children?

“In another instance, a man threatened to commit suicide in Hyderabad and TV channels telecast the incident right from the moment the man climbed the fifth floor of an apartment and jumped to his death. There were so many people watching it but not a single person came forward to prevent him from taking the extreme step.”

Date posted: October 16, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 560