Trial By Media

Question by: Manish Tewari

  1. Whether the Government has taken note of increasing spectre of trials by the Media in matters that are still in the process of being investigated under the relevant provisions of the IPC & CRPC and if so, the details thereof;
  2. Whether government has received any complaints/representations from people regarding trials by media in pending criminal matters, if so, the details thereof along with action taken thereon;
  3. The number of alerts/internal references made to the Ministry by the Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) on the matter and details of action taken against the erring entities, indicating the names of such TV channels;
  4. Whether trial by media constitute a violation of the Programme & Advertising codes in terms of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act & Rules that are intrinsic to the licensing conditions of TV channels and if so, the reaction of the Government thereto; and
  5. The concrete steps being taken by the Government to cancel licenses of TV channels and check media trials in the country?

Answer by: Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Minister of Information and Broadcasting; and Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises (Shri Prakash Javadekar)

  • All programmes telecast on private satellite TV channels are regulated in accordance with the Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Rules framed there under. These inter alia include programmes which contain anything amounting to contempt of court and aspersions against the integrity of the judiciary. The Government takes action in cases where Programme/ Advertising Codes are found to be violated by the private TV channels, including issuance of advisory, warning, running an apology scroll and in extreme cases, directing the channel to be off-air for certain time duration.
  • Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC) periodically reports apparent violation of Programme Code by private TV channels which are considered by the Ministry for appropriate action.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, December, 2020