Dec 16 gangrape convict interview violates programming code: I&B Ministry

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New Delhi, Mar 4: Amidst the controversy sparked by the interview of one of the Dec. 16 gangrape convicts and with the government taking a serious view of the matter, the I&B Ministry on Wednesday declared that the said content was "violation" of Programming Code and advised TV channels to see to it that the norms were not violated.

Speaking to reporters, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore, said it was the previous UPA government which had given permission in 2013 to a BBC filmmaker to interview the convict in the December 16 gangrape case.

Rajyavardhan Rathore

He said that while the Home Ministry has objected to it citing certain reasons, the I&B ministry, too, has issued an advisory.

The interview, in which the convict showed no remorse, has triggered a storm with Delhi Police having lodged an FIR and secured a court order restraining the media from airing it.

"Because this whole broadcast and the content of the broadcast violates the Programming Code of the Information and Broadcasting ministry, wherein there is derogatory language towards women, it seems to incite violence against women... there is also contempt of court in the context of the interview as the matter is sub-judice, Rathore said.

"It perhaps creates or will create a law and order situation. It also creates a sense of fear in the women in our society," Minister added.

Asked whether the ministry would take action if some channel went ahead and telecast the interview, the minister said that the "content of the interview is violation of the Programming Code". He advised the channels to keep in mind that the code should not be violated.

Meanwhile, replying to a query, Rathore said that the Home Ministry was probing the circumstances and the process under which the interview was allowed of the convict at Tihar Jail.

Asked by a reporter as to whether the government is aware that the interview is available online, Rathore said, "Online content is available to a person who goes online, specifically, perhaps individually. Whereas content that is available on programming channels is available to everyone, and, hence, there is a Programming Code for that.

"Online content, the government does not have any intent to restrict it. Hence our scope as Information and Broadcasting ministry is that the programme is as per the programming code."

PTI

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