Broadcasting body for review of uplinking guidelines

Broadcasting body for review of uplinking guidelines New Delhi: Citing shortcomings and ambiguity in provisions that dealt with renewal of licenses for TV channels, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) on Wednesday sought a review of the Information and Broadcasting ministry's uplinking Guidelines.

BCCC chairperson Justice (retd) A P Shah told reporters that as per the uplinking guidelines, the license of channels to broadcast would not be renewed if they have violated the Programme and Advertising Code on five occasions or more.

Shah said the provisions involved "questions of constitutionality".

Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) chief Manjit Singh and IBF Vice President Rajat Sharma besides BCCC Members Shabana Azmi and Bhaskar Ghose were present at the news conference.

In a statement, the BCCC said clauses 10.2 and 8.2 of the uplinking Guidelines which deal with conditions of renewal of broadcasters' licenses were in conflict with Article 19(1) of the Constitution, by unreasonably restricting the freedom of speech and expression as well as the Broadcasters' freedom of trade and profession.

These provisions also adversely affect the right of the citizens to access free and complete information, BCCC said.

Shah said the drafting of these clauses of the uplinking guidelines is not altogether perfect and their interpretation is fraught with ambiguity.

He said that BCCC, which is the self-regulatory body of the Television industry, had come up with recommendations on how the shortcomings in the uplinking guidelines can be removed.

Listing out the recommendations, Shah said there should be a gradation of 'violations', ranging from mild to severe for different cases and sanctions imposed should be in the nature of fines and directions for correction.

PTI