Complaint filed before I&B Ministry seeking complete suspension of AAJ-TAK for insulting armed forces
Film producer Nilesh Navalakha made a complaint before the Ministry of Information of Broadcasting seeking the suspension of the channel AAJ-TAK, alleging that the channel has made ‘distasteful, disparaging and insensitive remarks on the Indian army and also carried out insensitive coverage of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
News anchor Ms. Shweta Singh and her colleague Mr. Rohit Sardana has made following comments on the Indian army while discussing India-China stand-off :
- “This is the responsibility of the army. You can’t blame the government for this”
- “That Chinese incursion into the Indian territory is not just the Government’s fault, but also the Army’s as patrolling the border is not the Government’s responsibility”
- “This isn’t a situation where you ask questions after something has occurred. There are a few questions to be answered here. Firstly, if the People’s Liberation Army entered Indian territory and our soldiers were sleeping then it’s on the army and not on the government because the government is not on patrolling duty but the army is”
Advocates Rajesh G Inamdar and Amit Pai complained that the broadcast “clearly attacks the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, public order, decency or morality and in no matter fits in the realm of freedom of the press.” The complaint added- “in a tense situation with the broadcasting reaching crores of people, this is a deliberate attempt to spread a negative emotion against the Indian Armed forces and in direct breach of program code. Channel and its anchors have insulted every hero of the Indian Armed forces presently serving the nation, martyrs, their families and every citizen of this nation by their insensitive, disparaging, gross, distasteful, disrespectful, unlawful, speculative and irresponsible remarks against the Indian armed forces”
The complaint states that-“ that the broadcasts clearly shows that AAJ-TAK channel clearly promotes sensationalism, fake news, anti-national attitude disparaging of the Indian army, against the good taste and decency, is defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truth and affects the integrity of the country which clearly violates section 5 of the Cable Television Networks Act, 1995 ( “ Cable Act”), Rule 6(a), (c), (d), (e), (h), (i), of the Cable Television Networks rules, 1994 (rules), The Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards (“code”) and News Broadcasting Standards Regulations (“Regulations”).”
The complaint reminds that provisions under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act of 1995, 1994 Rules and the Policy Guidelines for Uplinking of Television Channels, gives the government to suspension/ cancellation of uplinking-downlinking license and channel in the country.
“In such circumstances, the Ministry is requested to take cognizance of the violations of program code and suspend/cancel the downlinking license granted to AAJ-TAK and impose a severe penalty”, the complainant said.