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No banned Pakistani channels being broadcast in India, says govt

NEW DELHI: The central government has told the Delhi High Court that none of the banned Pakistani TV channels are being broadcast in India.

According to a PTI report, the central government standing counsel Jasmeet Singh told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that the government had received some complaints regarding beaming of non-permitted channels by some cable operators.

These complaints, he added, are sent to the authorised officer in the state governments for taking appropriate action as per the provisions of the Cable Act.

The High Court was hearing a PIL filed by Nishad Sharma. In his PIL, Sharma alleged that banned Pakistani channels were being broadcast in the country without requisite permissions.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) termed the PIL as devoid of merit. It also contended that the petitioner is incorrect to base his contention purely on the assumption that because he could view the allegedly banned channels as being broadcasted by Dish TV, that all other direct-to-home (DTH) operators are also broadcasting the same.

MIB also said that no such complaints have been received by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) with respect to any other DTH operator.

The Delhi High Court had in January asked the Indian government to explain the steps it has taken to prevent banned Pakistani channels from airing in the country.

The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw had directed Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain to file an affidavit on the same.

In his plea, Sharma had mentioned the names of 16 channels, including PTV Home, Hum TV, Express Entertainment, BBSZ, Film Azia, Express News, Ariana TV and Khyber TV that were being broadcast without permission.

The court had earlier asked MIB and MHA to explain how it was regulating these channels.