PIL seeks orders for panels to oversee TV content

A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Geeta Mishra, a social worker, against the imbalanced and unmonitored content being aired by the TV channels by way of news and TV serials that is creating disharmony in the society. (DH File Photo)

The Karnataka High Court has asked the state government to submit a status report pertaining to the existence of a monitoring committee at the state- or district-level for monitoring the content aired on private television channels within a period of four weeks.

A division bench headed by acting Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Geeta Mishra, a social worker, against the imbalanced and unmonitored content being aired by the TV channels by way of news and TV serials that is creating disharmony in the society.

The petitioner has moved the court seeking directions to the government to constitute state- and district-level monitoring committees to monitor the content aired by private television channels.

The petitioner has also sought for directions to the authorities to consider her representation. 

She has submitted that TV news and other channels are not presenting information in a manner which is balanced and impartial and on the contrary, they are airing information that is edited to suit their selfish motive, which results in inciting disharmony and violence in the society.

Furthermore, the content of the TV channels in the state including serials and news are not being properly monitored and the content aired sometimes is not suitable to be watched along with children.

The petitioner says the central government had issued instructions on February 19, 2008 to constitute a monitoring committee for private television channels at the state- and district-levels. 

The petitioner says most of the TV channels are owned or managed by ministers or their kin in the state, following which the respondents are unable to look into the violations made by these channels, though several complaints have been filed.

Also, the petitioner had submitted a representation dated November 19, 2018 to the chief minister and the chief secretary and the chief minister’s office forwarded the same to the secretary, information and public relations department.

However, there was no response from the respondents concerned, following which the petitioner had approached the court. The court adjourned the hearing of the case by four weeks.

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PIL seeks orders for panels to oversee TV content

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