Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued show-cause notices to Aaj Tak, ABP News and NDTV 24 x7 in connection with airing objectionable content regarding Yakub Memon’s hanging on July 30. The channels have been given 15 days ultimatum to explain their stand, following which the government will decide on further course of action.
The Government of India has issued separate show-cause notices to three private TV news channels for disrespecting the judiciary and the President of India while airing content on the day of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon’s hanging. ABP News, NDTV 24×7 and Aaj Tak has been asked by the Union Information & Broadcasting Ministry to explain within 15 days why action should not be taken against them for broadcasting ‘objectionable’ content as reported in the Indian Express .
The show-cause notices to the channels invoke at least three sections including Section 1(d), Section 1(g) and Section 1(e) of Rule 6 of the Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.
- Section 1(d) states that no programme should be carried which contains anything “obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths.”
- Section 1(e) states that no programme should be carried in the cable service which is “likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.
- Section 1(g) bars channels from carrying content which “contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary”.
Aaj Tak and ABP News showed phone-in interviews of Chota Shakeel which challenged Indian judiciary in which he claimed Yakub Memon was innocent and said that four mercy petitions were dismissed in a single day. NDTV 24×7 aired an interview of Yakub Memon’s lawyer who spoke about how many countries have done away with the death penalty.
As per the sources, I&B; ministry has obtained video clips of the Chhota Shakeel phone-in and Yakub’s lawyer’s statement from the Electronic Media and Monitoring Centre (EMMC) to verify the content.
An inter-ministerial committee, which includes officials from the Home, External Affairs and Defence ministries, will review the responses by the channels to the show-cause notice and will decide the future course of action.