No legal void to regulate TV news content: Centre to Bombay High Court

Mumbai: There was no void in the current legitimate system on managing the substance broadcast by the electronic media and satisfactory component existed for the reason, the Union government told the Bombay High Court on Friday.

The accommodation was made in setting of ongoing reportage on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and PILs calling for limit on media inclusion of the prominent case.

Showing up for the Center, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh told a seat that there existed sufficient legal just as self-administrative system for the media, including TV news channels, to follow while printing or broadcasting any news things.

The ASG was reacting to past questions presented by the seat of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni while hearing a lot of PILs looking for that the press, especially TV news channels, be controlled in their reportage on the death of Rajput.

The PILs, recorded through senior insight Aspi Chinoy, by activists, private residents and a gathering of resigned cops, had likewise looked for that TV news channels be halted from directing a media preliminary into the case.

A month ago, the seat had inquired as to whether there existed any legal system to control the substance broadcast by the electronic media likened to the administrative instrument practiced by the Press Council of India for the print media.

The seat had likewise inquired as to whether there existed any vacuum in law on the issue, and had requested that the Union government explain if the high court had the purview to outline rules for the equivalent.

On Friday, Singh said while the HC had the imperative locale, there was no requirement for any new legal system or rules to be outlined for the electronic media.

He said other than the legal instruments that incorporated the rules of the Program Code of the Cable TV Network Act, a distressed gathering additionally had the alternative of conjuring the court’s intercession through the law of slander, or the Contempt of Courts Act.

“There is statutory and self-regulatory mechanism in place. The Programme Code specifically states that transmission is allowed only if it confers with the code,” Singh said.

“I am submitting that on the point of guidelines, there is already a mechanism in place,” the ASG said.

He said that while the court could practice its ward to outline new rules, the difficulty would be in executing such standards.

Singh added that the Contempt of Courts Act could be conjured for a situation in pre-preliminary stage, as well.

He said that biased media detailing at the phase of examination could add up to disdain of court on the off chance that it meddled with the organization of equity.

“It (the Contempt of Courts Act) can be invoked from the time that an FIR is registered and trial becomes imminent,” Singh said.

“This is the view taken by the supreme court,” he said.

“Today this high court frames guidelines, tomorrow, if another high court frames guidelines, and then another one does too, how will the guidelines be implemented?” Singh said.

Senior promoter Arvind Datar, who showed up for the National Broadcasters Standards Authority (NBSA), an autonomous body set up by the National Broadcasters Association to investigate protests, said there was no lack of administrative system as of now.

Datar guaranteed the court that the NBSA would before long come out with rules on media reportage on a case after enrollment of a FIR.

On past hearings, private TV news channels, that are involved with the situation, had contended that the self-administrative instrument was sufficient and that no new component or rules were needed to control the media.

On Friday, the HC shut all contentions for the situation and held its decision.