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PTC channel gets I&B notice for violating rules while propagating for Badal Dal in Delhi Sikh elections

January 28, 2013 | By

New Delhi, India (January 28, 2013): According to media reports the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India) has served a show-cause notice to the Punjabi channel PTC on January 27, 2013 for relaying the advertisements of Punjab’s ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal Badal after the campaigning for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections ended on the evening of January 25, 2013.

Asking the channel to reply within three days as to why no action should be initiated against it, a spokesman of the union ministry reportedly said, “The channel showed advertisements on January 26, clearly canvassing votes in favour of a particular political party in connection with the DSGMC elections.”

The directorate of Gurdwara elections of the Delhi government had issued a memo dated January 26, 2013 to the PTC channel, informing “the continuous running of advertisements by the PTC news channel on January 26 (Saturday) till midnight exhorting the voters to vote in favour of a particular party/candidate is a violation of the model code of conduct as well as section 126 of the Representation of People Act”.

The campaign period had ended at 5 pm on January 25, 2013 as the elections for DSGMC were to be held on January 27, 2013.

Despite the memo, the channel carried on with the advertisements continuously from 5 am till midnight on January 26, 2013 the ministry observed in the show-cause notice.

“The advertisements showed messages from prominent political figures of a particular political persuasion appealing to voters to vote in favour of a particular political party,” it stated.

The notice also cited Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules that contains the advertising code to be strictly adhered to by all private satellite television channels.

If no reply is received within the three days, it would be presumed that the channel had nothing to say in the matter and the action as deemed fit, as flowing from the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, read with the terms and conditions for permission for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels in India, would be taken against the channel, the notice said.

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