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Find a TV prog offensive? Govt to form committee to hear your complaints

If you find yourself seething in indignation over a TV programme and are wondering whom to complain to, the government has just the forum for you.

You will be able to register a complaint with the District Monitoring Committee headed by a district collector or police commissioner. If you are not satisfied with their action, the state Monitoring Committee comprising higher level officials will be sure to give you a satisfactory answer.

But you may have to wait a while before you can register your complaint as the state government is still sitting on a proposal to set up such committees despite clear guidelines issued by the central government over eight months ago.

The issue came up for debate in state government circles when promos of the controversial Hindi film Deshdrohi were being aired on TV channels.

As it was being argued in the government whether the state has the right to ask TV channels to stop airing the promos, someone pointed out that the government is delaying the formation of Monitoring Committees — a mechanism to check unwanted material from being aired on TV channels.

In February this year, the order issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting asking the state government to set up State and District level authorities has been gathering dust in the Mantralaya.

According to it, the state and district level committees will ensure compliance of the provisions in Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act- 1995. The I&B Ministry, in its communication to all states in February, had clearly stated the need to set up such committees.  

Besides taking cognizance of the violation of programmes and advertisement codes (section 5 & 6 of the Act), the committees will also look into:l Operation of Cable Television networks without registration.

l Non-carriage of free-to-air channels and mandatory channels as per the list specified in the act.

Under the Act, the authorised officer (district collector or police commissioner) , is empowered to prohibit transmission of certain programmes, in public interest if any programme or channel carried by it is not in conformity with the prescribed programme code and advertisement code.

He can also do so if he feels any programme is likely to promote religion, race, language, caste or community or even disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, linguistic or regional groups or castes or communities or which is likely to disturb the public tranquillity.

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