18 Sep 2020 4:38 PM GMT
During the hearing of the case against Sudarshan News TV's controversial show, the Supreme Court chided the News Broadcaster's Association (NBA) over its laxity in enforcing its own regulations.Justice D Y Chandrachud, the presiding judge of the bench, called the NBA 'toothless'."Do you watch TV or not? Why have you not controlled what is going on in the news", the judge asked NBA's...
During the hearing of the case against Sudarshan News TV's controversial show, the Supreme Court chided the News Broadcaster's Association (NBA) over its laxity in enforcing its own regulations.
Justice D Y Chandrachud, the presiding judge of the bench, called the NBA 'toothless'.
"Do you watch TV or not? Why have you not controlled what is going on in the news", the judge asked NBA's lawyer, Advocate Nisha Bhambhani.
Bhambhani replied that the NBA has improved significantly and has made several channels apologize during airtime for violating the norms on the reports. The counsel also informed the bench that all channels are not its members.
Seemingly unsatisfied with the response, the bench said that it wanted stronger regulation by the NBA.
"One thing you can do is come back to us on a method to strengthen NBA, so that you have a higher regulatory content. You have a few members and your regulations cannot be implemented. You need to tell us how it can be strengthened", Justice Chandrachud said.
On September 15, Justice Chandrachud had asked the NBA's counsel, 'do you exist apart from your letterhead?'.
A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph was hearing the plea which alleged that the show 'Bindas Bol' hosted by Suresh Chavhanke, the Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan News, was communalizing the entry of Muslims into the civil services. On September 15, the top court had stayed the telecast of the show after making a prima facie observation that 'the object intent and the purpose of the show was to vilify the Muslim community'.
The News Broadcasting Association is a voluntary organization of TV news channels, which is registered as a non-profit company.
It has evolved a Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and has established a News Broadcasting Standards Authority(NBSA) as an independent self-regulatory body to enforce its norms.
Former Supreme Court judge, Justice A K Sikri, is the present Chairperson of the NBSA.
In its counter-affidavit filed in the SC, the NBA has said that the NBSA has passed a total of 64 orders from 2009 to 2019.
It stated that the NBSA has imposed fines on some channels for violations and has directed some others to issue public apology. for misreporting.
It further said that Sudarshan News TV was not its member and was therefore not amenable to the jurisdiction of NBSA.
It made a suggestion that the NBA's Code of Ethics be given statutory recognition under the Cable TV Act in the same manner as the Code of Advertisements of the ASCI has been acknowledged and recognized in the Advertising Code in the CTN Rules, 1994.
Read the reports about today's hearing in Sudarshan TV News :
Representation Of Muslims With a Beard, Skull cap and Green Face, With Flames in the Background:SC Says Sudarshan TV Presented Allegations In An 'Inciteful Manner' In 'UPSC Jihad' Show
"We Have The Constitutional Duty To Protect Human Dignity As It Is Important As Protecting Free Speech": Justice Chandrachud In Sudarshan TV Show Matter