Court upholds government notice on TV reality show

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday upheld the show cause notice the information and broadcasting ministry issued to Star Plus channel for its telecast of two episodes of the controversial TV reality show ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ in 2009.

Justice S. Muralidhar turned down the plea of Star India Private Ltd., and said that the content shown in the programme was "vulgar, indecent and against good taste and decency", violating the programme code prescribed under the cable television network rules.

"There appears to be little doubt that the programme did violate the rules. In view of this conclusion, the warning administered to Star Plus channel by the ministry was justified as a valid exercise of statutory power by the regulatory authority," the court said.

The court also took note of the fact that the channel had placed an advisory and run scrolls and tickers during the telecast of the programme that the overall content of the show was adult in nature and not fit for unrestricted public viewing.

The court was hearing a writ petition filed by the channel against the ministry`s Nov 27, 2009, show cause notice, which stated that the telecast/re-telecast by the channel of a programme titled ‘Sach Ka Saamna’ July 17 and 21, 2009, was vulgar in nature.

On Feb 10, 2010, the channel approached the court seeking direction to the government not to interfere in the broadcast of the second season of its controversial TV show.

The broadcaster pleaded before the court to stay the notice issued by the ministry which alleged that the show violated the programme code.

The channel said that the TV show was adapted from a widely watched international show titled ‘The Moment of Truth’, viewed in India and over 20 other countries.

It said that ‘The Moment of Truth’ was first broadcast in India in 2008, through a sister channel STAR World.


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