Hyderabad, Feb.21 (NSS): Referring to the repeated telecast of the events which occurred on Monday morning regarding “Chalo Assembly” of students and “Chalo Raj Bhavan” of Advocates, the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner, Mr A K Khan, has appealed to the media to maintain restraint and balance in the telecast of such incidents. Repeated telecast of violent footages and violent scenes using digital modification would create fear psychosis among the public, he added.
Mr Khan, in a pressnote here this evening, stated that “This appeal for cooperation was because the media has the power to project sensitive issues in a appropriate manner in the interest of maintenance of law and order and preserving a sense of security in the public. Repeated telecast of the same incidents can magnify the sense of insecurity disproportionately among the general public. Hence, it is requested that extra care be taken to ensure accuracy and balance of reportage by vetting and clearance at the highest editorial level.”
The Police Commissioner also reminded the media of guidelines (Programme Code) to be followed by the electronic media under Rule 6 of Section 5 of Cable Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 while telecasting the events. They are: No programme shall be telecast if it offends against good taste or decency; contains anything defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendoes and half truth; likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes; contains visual or words which reflect a slandering, ironical and snobbish attitude in the portrayal of certain ethnic, linguistic and regional groups.
He pointed out that the Act also stipulates that if any cable operator transmitting or retransmitting any programme in contravention to Sec.5 & 6 read with Rule 6 & 7 of the Act, any authorized officer is bound by law to prohibit such transmission of programme in public interest as per Sec. 19 and 20 of the Act. It may be mentioned that Commissioner of Police is an Authorized Officer for Hyderabad city as per Section 2 of the Act. Any successful prosecution of such cases will entail the following penal action. First offence would ensure imprisonment up to two years or fine up to Rs 1000 or both. Subsequent offence, imprisonment up to five years or fine up to Rs 5,000 or both.
Besides, Sec. 20 empowers authorized officer to prohibit operation of cable television network in public interest that any programme of any channel is not in conformity with the prescribed programme code as per Sections 5 and 6 of the Act. While the law is unambiguous on “Do’s and Don’ts” in this regard, the AP High Court has also issued clear orders on more than one occasion in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) reiterating the need to implement the programme code.
“You may also be advised that the above orders are in still in force and any violation would be treated as Contempt of Court. It is worthy to mention that a contempt of court petition in this regard is pending in the APHC for admission. I am duty bound to enlighten you again that Sec. 2 (a) empowers the Commissioner of Police to supervise and take appropriate action, if anybody violates the provisions of the Act; Sec. 11 authorizes to seize the equipment used for operating the cable television network;
Sections 19 and 20 empowers to prohibit certain programmes in public interest, if they are not in conformity with the programme code as per the Act.”
The city Police Commissioner appealed to the media to play its role in a fair manner while handling the sensitive issue in the interest of the society by keeping in mind different provisions of law. The media may get in touch with Joint Commissioner of Police, Special Branch (Mobile No. 94906-16193), for any additional information or clarification in this regard, he added. (NSS)