oppn parties Is NDTV India Above The Law of The Land?

News Snippets

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  • Searching for Rajeev Kumar, ex-CP, Kolkata Police, the CBI approaches state DGP to know about his whereabouts
  • Ferry overturns in the river Godavari in Andhra. 46 feared dead
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas on Jammu & Kashmir today
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad moves Supreme Court for ordering the government to allow him to visit his family in J&K
  • GST Council meeting to focus on leakages and evasions, expected to tighten processes, especially regarding input tax credit
  • Finance minister, citing figures for July 2019, says that industrial production and fixed investment is showing signs of revival
  • Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the unifying language draws the ire of MK Stalin and Siddaramaiah. Stalin says the country is India not Hindia
  • On Hindi Diwas today, Amit Shah says use of mother language must be increased but Hindi should be adopted as the common language of the country
  • Pakistan raises white flag on LoC to claim bodies of dead soldiers
  • India beat Bangladesh by 5 runs to lift the U-19 Asia Cup
  • A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will examine the amendments to the SC/ST act made after an apex court order that 'diluted' the provisions and which were reinstatd by the amendment
  • Delhi government decides to re-implement the odd-even system of traffic management from November 4 to 15
  • UP to discontinue law that allows the state government to pay the income tax dues of ministers
  • Anand Sharma of the Congress to replace P Chidambaram on the parliamentary committee on home affairs
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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Is NDTV India Above The Law of The Land?

By Slogger

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Holding an extreme view and carting the ball out of the park is what interests him most. He is a hard hitter at all times. Fasten your seatbelts and read.
If we see the chorus of support for the one day token ban on NDTV India rising to a crescendo, it seems that the media is above the law of the land. According to the government, NDTV India violated 6(1)(p) of the Programme Code under Cable TV Network Rules, 1994. This rule was notified in June 2015 and says that no TV channel can broadcast live any counter-offensive against terror attacks as it could give out sensitive information to terrorists and their handlers. NDTV India broadcast live the terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base on 4th January 2016. According to the channel, it did not broadcast anything of sensitive nature. But the government holds the opposite view. The penalty for violating the rule is a 30-day blackout, but NDTV India has been handed out just a one-day token ban as it was a new rule and this was the first instance of violation.

If the rule exists, channels must follow it, period. There can be no exceptions. The channel is not qualified to decide what sensitive information is. It is for the security forces and the government to decide whether the rule was broken. Further, the rule explicitly states that “no programme should be carried in the cable service which contains live coverage of any anti-terrorist operation by security forces, wherein media coverage shall be restricted to periodic briefing by an officer designated by the appropriate Government, till such operation concludes.” Hence, by putting out the live telecast that disclosed the location of the terrorists before the operation ended, NDTV India has violated the rule and must now face the consequences. Those supporting the channel have little regard for the laws of the land. They are in fact supporting an illegal act in the name of press freedom.

It is very easy to harp on press freedom. But when a terror counter-offensive is underway, the lives of hundreds of soldiers in at stake. If channels choose to ignore the law of the land and telecast the operation live, the handlers can inform the terrorists of the exact location and the strategy of the security forces, putting the lives of soldiers at risk. Channels should desist from doing this voluntarily, but TRP’s matter more than the lives of soldiers. If the media thought that rule 6(1)(p) infringed on the freedom of the press, the time to protest was when it was introduced. Or, it could have been challenged in the courts. But since nothing was done by any media body and the rule exists, it has to be followed. Violation will attract penalty and NDTV India must face it. If it still has doubts, it can always challenge the ban order legally. Those who are saying this is like the Emergency do not have an iota of knowledge what Emergency was.