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Condom Ad row: Rajasthan High Court issues notice to I&B Ministry

By Deepika

Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday issued notice to I&B Ministry asking why can't the condom ads be telecast outside the currently affixed hours between 10 PM- 6 AM. The Court also sought a reply on the same.

Condom Ad row: Rajasthan High Court issues notice to I&B Ministry

A division Bench of Rajasthan High Court comprising Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Dinesh Chandra Somani, has issued notice to Centre on a petition challenging the advisory issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting banning television ads for condoms during prime time hours.

The Petition has been filed by an NGO, Global Alliance for Human Rights, which has been working for the welfare of HIV +ve patients since 2012.

On December 12, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued a directive asking broadcasters to telecast condom ads only between 10 PM and 6 AM.

The ministry took the decision after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has approached the ministry of Information and broadcasting (I&B) for withdrawing condom ads that are telecasted during prime time or 'family viewing time'. The council received several complaints on the kind of content condom brands show in ads, which may not be suitable for kids and teenagers.

The ASCI, in its letter to the ministry, has specifically stated that ads that are explicit and vulgar in nature should be aired only from 10 PM to 6 AM. "All TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast the advertisements of condoms which are for a particular age group and could be indecent or inappropriate for viewing by children. Therefore, such advertisements may be telecast between 10 PM and 6 AM to avoid exposure of such material to children," said the advisory.

The advisory cited various sections of the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994, which states that no advertisement endangering the safety of children or that creates in them "any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner" shall be carried in a cable service. In September, trader body CAIT had complained to the government against outdoor ads featuring Sunny Leone during the Navratri festival.

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