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TV channels should maintain broadcasts within the parameters where India is not affected: Rathore

MUMBAI: Some TV channels crossed the limit when it came to covering the recent Yakub Memon case, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said.

Speaking to media reporters in Delhi, he said: “The government is very reluctant about issuing show-cause notices to TV news channels but had to resort to it after some of them crossed the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ while covering the Yakub Memon case.”

The statement comes days after the government issued show-cause notices to three news channels for allegedly showing disrespect to the judiciary and President by airing certain content on the day 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon was hanged.

“In the rush for TRP, they brought in Chhota Shakeel, of all people, to comment from the other side. And he (Shakeel) on one news channel actually went on to say that every action has a reaction. And then when questioned further, he says, there are others who are watching you and will act against you,” the Minister stated.

The country’s territory, which includes frequencies in the air, cannot be used by people who are against us to do their propaganda, Rathore added.

“We issued a show-cause notice as the idea was that the channels maintain broadcasts within the parameters where India is not affected. We (Government) are very liberal by far.”

Rathore said that the government wanted channels to exercise self-regulation. The I&B Ministry issued an advisory during the recent terror attack in Punjab that no live telecast should be carried out and most channels followed the programme code. However, there were some “minor” violations with an anchor mentioning that the sound of gunfire could be heard and visuals of people shooting being aired, he added.

Rathore was responding to questions by media after delivering the 19th Col Pyara Lal Memorial Lecture on ‘Role and Limitations of Social Media in Image Building and Perception Management’.

The MIB had issued show-cause notices to Aaj Tak, ABP News and NDTV 24×7 for allegedly disrespecting the judiciary and the President of India through their coverage of the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon.

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