Broadcasters' body protests ''arbitrary punishment'' by Govt

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New Delhi, Sep 21 (UNI) As the Government today slapped ban on a second TV channel in a week, a national body of broadcasters protested against the ''summary punishment'' given to them in a trigger happy manner.'' These punishments have been meted out without following any transparent procedure, and violate the principles of natural justice, the India Broadcasting Foundation said.

It said that at its AGM today, the members noted with concern that a series of ''highly arbitrary and coercive punishments'' had been delivered by the Ministry over the last one year The Ministry was taking the role of a complainant, a judge and the jury on itself, the broadcasters' body said.

They said the Government attitude showed a dangerous trend aimed at strangulating the media's independence.

''The IBF is a responsible organisation comprising all major broadcasters in the country and is committed to developing and enforcing a socially relevant code of ethics amongst its members.

However, it will not accept arbitrariness, lack of transparency and stranglehold on media,''.

It was decided at the AGM to seek a meeting with the Minister for Information and Broadcasting on the issue and to open a dialogue for developing a transparent mechanism for grievance redressal, as well as complaints against braodcasters, the IBF said.

The government had yesterday issued order for one month's ban on the Live India channel which had carried out the infamous Delhi school teacher sting operation. Today it said it had prohibited airing of the Jeevan TV for carrying news and current affairs programme without the Home Ministry's security clearance.

Earlier, Fashion TV and AXN TV had also faced similar kind of action.

UNI

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