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Delhi HC stays govt’s order directing Colors to run apology scroll

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has stayed a government order directing Hindi general entertainment channel Colors to run a scroll apologising for the content shown on the fifth season of ‘Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi’.

The HC said that the Centre’s view that the programme was not in good taste was ‘subjective’.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) had directed Colors on 8 January 2014 to run a scroll apologising for its content while airing the show on 15 January 2014, which was challenged by the channel.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued a notice to the ministry and sought its reply by 16 April 2014 on Viacom18’s plea challenging the government order.

The court asked whether ‘good taste and decency’ have been defined in the guidelines and said the view taken by the government was ‘subjective’.

It also observed that other channels like AXN have similar programmes and they are being downlinked here. “I think the matter needs consideration,” the judge said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the MIB, said that if required, action will be taken against other channels as well.

He also said the government has taken a lenient view as it had only asked that an apology be run along with the show only on 15 January, as it could have stopped broadcast of the programme.

On the other hand, the channel contended that no complaint has been received against the show. It also said that the fifth season of the programme ended in May 2014 and the next season is expected to be aired in March this year.