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No proposal to set up separate broadcast tribunal: Rathore

NEW DELHI: There is no proposal to set up a separate body for reviewing broadcasting complaints, Minister of State in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore has said in the Lok Sabha.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) remains the broadcasting sector tribunal.

As per data provided by Rathore, there has been a spurt in the number of petitions filed under broadcasting. The number of broadcasting petitions has jumped from 315 in 2013 to 433 in 2014 and 593 in 2016. However, the number of broadcasting appeals has seen a decline from 18 in 2013 to 7 in 2014 and 5 in 2016.

Minister of Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley recently stated that the government was open to setting up a separate dispute resolution mechanism for the broadcasting sector considering the large number of broadcasting-related cases in the TDSAT in recent years.

The issue came up for discussion at the TDSAT’s seminar on Adjudication, Regulation and Telecommunication (ART) in Delhi.

Jaitley’s comments came after TDSAT chairperson Justice Aftab Alam pointed out that the number of broadcasting cases had far exceeded those related to the telecom sector. He had stated that in 2015 the total number of cases filed before the TDSAT was at 707, out of which 593 cases were related to the broadcast sector and 104 to telecom.

Jaitley had assured Justice Alam that the government was willing to review the suggestion of having a separate mechanism to deal with broadcasting cases. While asking the TDSAT to bring an appropriate suggestion on the matter before the government, he had said that he would take up the matter with his colleague Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Justice Alam had suggested that the TRAI and the broadcasting bill be brought together in Parliament. However, the broadcasting bill did not become a law.

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