The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has directed Sony channel to move its daily soap Pehredaar Piya Ki to the 10 pm slot and run it with a scroll saying it does not promote child marriage, an official said on Wednesday.
The serial, which began airing last month, focuses on a nine-year-old boy, Ratan (Afaan Khan), and his marriage to 18 -year-old Diya (Tejasswi Prakash).
In its meeting held on Wednesday, the Council ordered the channel to shift the show to 10 pm, the restrictive hour on the small screen, from its current slot of 8.30 pm.
A scroll has to run saying that the show does not promote child marriage and is a work of fiction, said an official from the body.
The meeting was chaired by BCCC's new chief, Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen.
"Though elders are awake at 10 pm, BCCC wants to ensure that minors are not able to see the show," Sen told PTI.
He added that that they ordered a scroll to be run since they did not want any misinterpretation that the show advocates child marriage.
The channel remained unavailable for comment on the decision.
Pehredaar Piya Ki has been slammed on social media for its 'regressive' content with many viewers accusing it of promoting child marriage.
The TV ombudsman received close to 140 complaints last month from viewers demanding action against the show for promoting child marriage, an official said.
A petition was also started online asking the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to ban the show and the ministry is learnt to have forwarded a complaint regarding the serial to BCCC.
More than one lakh people had signed a petition on change.org urging Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to ban the show.
Creators of the soap, however, claim that it is not regressive.
"We have not received anything yet. As and when we receive it (instructions from the ministry), we will reply to it. We will explain our point of view," the shows producer, Sumeet Mittal, was quoted as saying earlier.
BCCC was set up in 2011 by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) in consultation with the ministry. It has been tasked with implementing self regulatory guidelines for 'non-news general entertainment channels', the website states.
According to IBF guidelines, BCCC is duty-bound to inform the ministry if channels don't adhere to its decisions. The ministry will then decide on the future course of action, an official explained.
The BCCC, he added, was hoping that Sony would abide by its directive within a week.
(Feature Image Source: YouTube)