Our Bureau

New Delhi, Sept. 8

The Government has constituted a committee to frame a content code on what can be shown not only on the television channels but also cinemas, the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Mr S.K. Arora, has said.

Equal representation

"A committee has been set up to formulate a content code irrespective of whether it is television or cinema.

"The committee has equal representation from civil society, media and regulatory bodies of the Government so as to design a content code and self-regulation mechanism," Mr Arora added.

The Secretary was speaking at a conference on `Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2006,' that had been organised by the Assocham.

Freedom of expression

The Government, however, was committed to freedom of expression as was guaranteed by the Constitution, Mr Arora said. "The Government has no intention of going beyond the Constitution preserves of freedom of expression. But there was a need to distinguish between content, carriage and commerce. The proposed Bill looks at all three," the Secretary said.

The Secretary also tried to dispel the apprehensions of various stakeholders on a variety of issues including the search and seizure clause that has been incorporated in the proposed Bill.

Seizure clause

"The search and seizure clause will apply only in three situations including if it is completely unlicensed broadcasting or if the operator has a licence but the channel is unregistered," Mr Arora said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 9, 2006)
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