New Delhi, Oct 12 (UNI) The government today lifted the month-long ban on Janmat satellite TV channel after it beamed a fake sting operation against a school teacher's alleged sex racket, cutting short the penalty by eight days.
The ban, which was to end on October 20, was removed today after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry upheld the appeals by Broadcast Initiatives Limited, distributor and uplinking applicant for Janmat TV Channel, that there was no deliberate attempt by the channel to defame anybody by airing the sting operation.
Taking strong exception to the sting operation which showed school teacher Uma Khurana soliciting customers for her students, the ministry had imposed the ban on the ground that it was ''defamatory, deliberate, false and contained suggestive innuendos and half truths; incited violence and contained content against maintenance of law and order.'' The ministry also took note of the fact that it criticised, maligned and slandered an individual and denigrated children.
In its appeals, made on September 21 and October 4, Broadcast Initiatives Limited (BIL) said it had exercised ''all due diligence and care as per prevailing industry practice, and it subsequently emerged that the reporter had misled them and unfortunately the sting operation telecast on 30.08.2007 took a different shape.'' BIL also requested the Ministry to reconsider the prohibition of transmission of the channel for one month which had put a question mark on the commercial viability of their channel.
A ministry official said BIL further assured that it was ''committed to effectively using journalism in the best interests of the nation and society by following the highest standards of journalism and would be observing and minutely complying with all the relevant provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the requisite license conditions.'' The official said that view of the submission made by BIL, the Central Government had decided to revoke the prohibition imposed on transmission/re-transmission of Janmat TV Channel on all platforms with effect from the midnight of October 12.