'Bigg Boss' retains prime slot

High Court grants stay on governments directive till Monday

 Viacom 18, which owns “Colors” on which the show is aired, rushed to the Bombay High Court on Thursday and managed to secure an interim stay on the directive of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry restricting the telecast time of the “adult show” to after 11 pm.  The ministry had directed the channel to confine the telecast of Bigg Boss between 11 pm and 5 am after it received many complaints from viewers about abusive and vulgar language used by participants.

 The channel petitioned the high court against the directive, and the court allowed a temporary reprieve to the channel by allowing it to continue the telecast of the show during the prime time slot beginning 9 pm till Monday, when the petition will be heard. The I&B ministry on Wednesday directed Colors and Imagine TV channels to change the broadcast timings of their reality shows – Bigg Boss and Rakhi Ka Insaaf - to a late night slot following complaints of vulgarity from viewers.

Interestingly, even after the ministry directive, “Colors” channel telecast Bigg Boss in its prime slot on Wednesday.

Sudden urgency

In its petition, the channel argued that “no date has been mentioned as to when the show was against good taste and decency.” The channel also said that its content cannot be described as obscene.

“The show has been on for one and a half months, what is the urgency suddenly?” the petition sought to know. The channel accepted that while the government has the power to force a schedule change, “in this case our advertisement commitment and content has to change.”

 The high court saw point in the argument and remarked that the ministry should have issued a show cause notice before directing the channel to broadcast the show between 11 pm and 5 pm. The High Court also issued a notice to the ministry for the next hearing. The ministry had served a notice to Bigg Boss 4 and Rakhi Ka Insaaf to be aired after 11 pm as the shows are not suitable for viewing by children. The shows producers have also been asked to carry a disclaimer that the shows are not suitable for viewing by children.  News channels, too, have been instructed not to carry any of the scenes/shots from the shows.

 Earlier, a civil court had served a notice to the chief executive officer (CEO) of Colors TV channel for showing vulgar content on reality show “Bigg Boss” and cheating the audience by organising the wedding of an already married couple.

Meanwhile, in the Bigg Boss house in Lonavala, Pamela Andershon showed off her curves in a white saree along with a sensuous blouse, bangles and the trademark of Indian women, the bindi, while making an entry on Wednesday.But later she changed into a more comfortable orange sarong.

‘Rakhi Ka Insaaf’ shifts to late night

New Delhi, agencies:  Rakhi Ka Insaaf, hosted by item girl Rakhi Sawant, will now be telecasted at 11 pm. “We are complying with the (I&B) ministry’s advice... and changing the telecast time of the programme to 11 pm,” said an official statement from Imagine TV on Thursday. 

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