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MIB issues warning to Amrita TV for airing ‘A’-rated film

MUMBAI: Malayalam general entertainment channel Amrita TV has received a warning from the Information & Broadcasting Ministry (MIB) for violating the Programming Code by airing an ‘A’-certified film in June 2012.

On 28 May last year, the MIB had served a show-cause notice (SCN) to Amrita TV for airing ‘The Don’ on 3 June 2012 for violation of the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

In its submission on 15 June, the channel apologised and undertook that such incidents would not repeat in future. It also requested for extension of time to reply to the SCN and later in its reply on 8 July, it claimed that the film was shown erroneously and regretted the oversight.

The channel also said that the agreement for the film was signed in 2006, and at that time the channel was not very conversant with the complexity of film protocols. It said that as a channel with a sacrosanct reputation, it was an oversight on its part to have aired the said feature film. Amrita TV also assured the ministry that this film would not be telecast again until it obtained the appropriate certificate from the censor board.

It also requested the ministry to condone this lapse.

Later, the channel was given an opportunity of personal hearing before the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on 5 August, wherein the representative of the channel made an unconditional apology and stated that though the film was certified ‘A’, the content was not offensive as the film had been purged of all adult content before telecast.

Previewing the CD recordings of the programme, the IMC considered the reply of the channel and the personal submissions made by its representative.

The IMC held that though no offensive content was shown on the channel, telecasting an ‘A’-certified film on television is in itself a violation of the provisions of the Programme Code.

The IMC recommended that a warning may be issued to the channel for the said lapse, following which the MIB has concluded that Amrita TV was in violation of Rule 6 (1) (n) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.

Amrita TV has been warned to strictly adhere to the Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules framed thereunder in letter and spirit.

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