NEW DELHI: The Union government has on Saturday ordered an Assam-based news channel to remain off for a day after an Inter-ministerial committee found that the news channel has crossed the rules, by revealing the identity of a minor who was brutally tortured while serving as a household help.
The Inter-ministerial committee, formed by the Union Information and broadcasting committee also alleged the News Time Assam channel of two other violations. The committee said that the channel has also aired visuals of dead bodies and a program which has been reported as derogatory to women. “In line with the three allegations against the news channel based in Assam, and having found that the allegations hold true, the committee has imposed 24-hours off the air penalty on the channel”, the statement from the committee read.
A similar decision has been taken by the Central government when it banned NDTV for 24-hours allegedly for compromising national security during its coverage of Pathankot attacks. Both the channels will remain off the air from 00.01 hours on November 9 to 00.01 hours on November 10.
According to the sources, a Child Labor welfare Commissioner has lodged a complaint on the News Time Assam channel for compromising the dignity and privacy of the Child by revealing his identity. A show cause notice was issued to the channel after the commissioner’s complaint. However, the Assam-based news channel argued that it was not the only channel to air the visuals on that day.
Eventually, the Inter-ministerial committee said that it has issued warnings to all the news channels for allegedly violating the rules and regulations while airing a content involving minors and women. However, the committee noted that the punishment imposed on News Time Assam channel was in view of two other allegations against it.
On the other hand, the Union government’s crackdown on media has fueled widespread criticism from various sections of the society. National Broadcasters Association (NBA) and the opposition party have criticized the government’s move terming it as a 1970s emergency time. Notably, the social media was all happy and thanked the government for taking measures to control irresponsible media coverage.