What You Can Do

మీడియా చట్టాలు, నిబంధనలు - విహంగ వీక్షణం 

‘MediaWatch’ by the citizenry and the civil society is a continuous process and it requires the knowledge of  important legal provisions related to the Media.  Here is an effort to acquaint you with the relevant laws and rules so that you can act whenever an occasion arises. ‘MediaWatch-India’ urges you to be proactive in implementing these legal provisions and thus promote decency and accountability in the media.

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Decency and Accountability in Media

A Legal Checklist

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by General Assembly of United Nations (UN) says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India reads: “All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression.” Freedom enjoyed by press and various media is part of this freedom of speech and expression. At the same time, Article 19(2) of the Constitution stipulates that such freedom of speech and expression is subject to reasonable restrictions that can be imposed by State. Article 19(2) reads thus: "Nothing in sub clause (a) of Clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.” 

Let’s have a glance at various laws & regulations governing media content in India:


(A) Television Channels

Following provisions of Programme Code and Advertisement Code under Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 are applicable to the content transmitted by all private satellite TV channels, local cable operators (LCO’s), Multi-system operators (MSO’s), Direct-to-Home operators (DTH), Headend-in-the-Sky operators (HITS) & Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service providers in the country.


Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994:

Rule 6 (PROGRAMME CODE): 

No programme should be carried in the cable 

service which:-

(a) Offends against good taste or decency;

(b) Contains criticism of friendly countries;

(c) Contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes;


(d) Contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths;


(e) is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes;

(f) Contains anything amounting to contempt of court;

(g) Contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary;

(h) Contains anything affecting the integrity of the Nation;

(i) Criticises, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country ;

(j) Encourages superstition or blind belief;

(k) Denigrates women through the depiction in any manner of the figure of a women, her form or body or any part thereof in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals;

(l) Denigrates children;

(m) Contains visuals or words which reflect a slandering, ironical and snobbish attitude in the portrayal of certain ethnic, linguistic and regional groups ; 


(n) Contravenes the provisions of the Cinematograph Act, 1952;

(o) is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition,

“Provided that no film or film song or film promo or film trailer or music video or music albums or their promos, whether produced in India or abroad, shall be carried through cable service unless it has been certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) as suitable for unrestricted public exhibition in India”.

Explanation – For the purpose of this clause, the expression “unrestricted public exhibition” shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (37 of 1952); 

[This means there is absolute prohibition of adult content in the television irrespective of timings. (In some countries, during specified late night hours, telecast of adult content is permitted which is called 'watershed timing'. Such provision is not there in India.)

Further, Bombay High Court, vide its Order dated 23-8-2006 in the PIL 1232/2004 (Paras 19, 20, 21 & 22) observed thus: "Clause (i) of Section 4(1) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 is a provision for sanction of the film by the CBFC for unrestricted public exhibition. Proviso is appended thereto which says that if the Board is of the opinion that it is necessary to caution as to whether any child below the age of twelve years may be allowed to see such film should be considered by the parents or guardian of such child...A careful reading of the proviso leads us to hold that the proviso is not by way of an exception; it is sort of explanation or clarification. Reading Section 4(1)(i) and Section 5A together we may reasonably hold that a film certified for "U/A" does not cease to be a film sanctioned by the Board for unrestricted public exhibition. The films carrying certificate "U" and "U/A" belong to the same class of films viz., for unrestricted public exhibition...We, therefore, clarify that the order dated 21st December, 2005 does not restrict exhibition of films certified "U" or "U/A" or "V" or "V/UA" by C.B.F.C." This order accorded a sort of legal sanctity for telecast of U/A (Parental Guidance) films on television.]

(2) The cable operator should strive to carry programmes in his cable service which project women in a positive, leadership role of sobriety, moral and character building qualities.

(3) No cable operator shall carry or include in his cable service any programme in respect of which copyright subsists under the Copyright Act, 1957 (14 of 1957) unless he has been granted a licence by owners of copyright under the Act in respect of such programme.

(4) Care should be taken to ensure that programmes meant for children do not contain any bad language or explicit scenes of violence.

(5) Programmes unsuitable for children must not be carried in the cable service at times when the largest numbers of children are viewing.

(6) No cable operator shall carry or include in his cable service any television broadcast or channel, which has not been registered by the Central Government for being viewed within the territory of India”.


* NCPCR Guidelines to Regulate Child Participation in TV Serials,Reality Shows and Advertisements, 2010-11

Rule 7 (ADVERTISEMENT CODE):  

(1) Advertising carried in the cable service shall be so designed as to conform to the laws of the country and should not offend morality, decency and religious susceptibilities of the subscribers.

(2) No advertisement shall be permitted which-

(i) derides any race, caste, colour, creed and nationality;

(ii) is against any provision of the Constitution of India.

(iii) tends to incite people to crime, cause disorder or violence or breach of law or glorifies violence or obscenity in any way ;

(iv) presents criminality as desirable;

(v) exploits the national emblem, or any part of the Constitution or the person or personality of a national leader or a State dignitary;

(vi) in its depiction of women violates the constitutional guarantees to all citizens. In particular, no advertisement shall be permitted which projects a derogatory image of women. Women must not be portrayed in a manner that emphasises passive, submissive qualities and encourages them to play a subordinate, secondary role in the family and society. The cable operator shall ensure that the portrayal of the female form, in the programmes carried in his cable service, is tasteful and aesthetic, and is within the well established norms of good taste and decency;

(vii) exploits social evils like dowry, child marriage.

(viii) promotes directly or indirectly production, sale or consumption of-

(A) cigarettes,tobacco products,wine,alcohol,liquor or other intoxicants;

provided that a product that uses a brand name or logo, which is also used for cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants, may be advertised on cable service subject to the following conditions that:-

(i) the story board or visual of the advertisement must depict only the product being advertised and not the prohibited products in any form or manner;

(ii) the advertisement must not make any direct or indirect reference to the prohibited products;

(iii) the advertisement must not contain any nuances or phrases promoting prohibited products;

(iv) the advertisement must not use particular colours and layout or presentations associated with prohibited products;

(v) the advertisement must not use situations typical for promotion of prohibited products when advertising the other products;

Provided further that-

(i) the advertiser shall submit an application with a copy of the proposed advertisement along with a certificate by a registered Chartered Accountant that the product carrying the same name as cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants is distributed in reasonable quantity and is available in substantial number of outlets where other products of the same category are available and the proposed expenditure on such advertising thereon shall not be disproportionate to the actual sales turnover of the product.

(ii) All such advertisements found to be genuine brand extensions by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting shall be previewed and certified by the Central Board of Film Certification as suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and are in accordance with the provisions contained in sub-clause (i) to (v) of the first proviso, prior to their telecast or transmission or retransmission.

(B) infant milk substitutes, feeding bottle or infant food.

(3) No advertisement shall be permitted, the objects whereof, are wholly or mainly of a religious or political* nature; advertisements must not be directed towards any religious or political end.

* Election Commission Circular on advertisements of political nature on TV Channels and cable networks

(3A) No advertisement shall contain references which hurt religious sentiments.

(4) The goods or services advertised shall not suffer from any defect or deficiency as mentioned in Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

(5) No advertisement shall contain references which are likely to lead the public to infer that the product advertised or any of its ingredients has some special or miraculous or super- natural property or quality, which is difficult of being proved.

(6) The picture and the audible matter of the advertisement shall not be excessively ‘loud;

(7) No advertisement which endangers the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner shall not be carried in the cable service.

(8) Indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements.

(9) No advertisement which violates the Code for self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), Mumbai, for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service.

(10) All advertisement should be clearly distinguishable from the programme and should not in any manner interfere with the programme viz., use of lower part of screen to carry captions, static or moving alongside the programme.

(11) No programme shall carry advertisements exceeding twelve minutes per hours, which may include up to ten minutes per hour of commercial advertisements, and up to two minutes per hour of the channel’s self-promotional programmes.

         

* Violations by Cable Operators:

Violations by Cable Operators can be brought to the notice of the 'Authorized Officers' under Section 2(a) of the Cable Network (Regulation) Act, 1995, within their local limits of jurisdiction –

(i) a District Magistrate, or
(ii) a Sub-divisional Magistrate, or
(iii) a Commissioner of Police

(The provision further authorizes the State Government in addition to the Central Government to notify officers other than those already specified in the Act as above to be authorized officers for such local limits of jurisdiction as may be determined by that Government so that the most effective mechanism at local level may be put in place.)

Authorized Officers have been given power to seize equipment used for operating the cable television network under Section 11 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 in cases of contravention of Section 3, 4A, 5, 6 or 8 of the Act in the following eventualities:

(a) Violation of Programme and Advertisement Codes (Section 5 and 6)

(b) Operation of a Cable Television Network without registration in the local Post Office (Section 3).

(c) Transmission of pay channels on Cable Television without use of Set Top Boxes (Addressable System) in areas notified for compulsory CAS (i.e. some parts of Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata) [Section 4A (1)].

(d) Non-carriage of free to air channels and mandatory channels as per list specified in Annexure- I (Section 4A (2), Section 8).

(e) Charging fees in CAS areas which is higher than that fixed by TRAI as per Annexure-II & III [Section 4A (4)].

* Violations by Private Satellite Channels:

As per the 'terms and conditions' for satellite channels under Uplinking & Downlinking Guidelines, 2011 issued by Government of India, 

(i) Every satellite TV Channel "shall comply with the Programme & Advertising Codes, as laid down in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Rules framed there under." 

(ii) The applicant company shall adhere to any other Code/Standards guidelines/restrictions prescribed by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India for regulation of content on TV channels from time to time. (Applicable for Channels downlinked into India.)

(iii) Every Channel "shall keep record of the content uplinked for a period of 90 days and produce the same before any agency of the Government, as and when required."

(iv) The applicant company shall provide the necessary monitoring facility at its own cost for monitoring of programmes or content by the representative of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting or any other Government agency as and when required.

Penalties prescribed under Uplinking & Downlinking Guidelines, 2011:

(A) If any channel found to be transmitting/uplinking any objectionable unauthorized content, messages, or communication inconsistent with public interest or national security or failing to comply with the directions of Central government, the permission granted shall be revoked and the company/channel shall be disqualified to hold any such permission for a period of five years, apart from liability for punishment under other applicable laws.

(B) Subject to above provisions, in the event of any channel violating any of the terms and conditions of permission, or any other provisions of the guidelines, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has the right to impose the following penalties:

(i) In the event of first violation, suspension of the permission of the company and prohibition of broadcast/ transmission up to a period of 30 days.

(ii) In the event of second violation, suspension of the permission of the company and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 90 days.

(iii) In the event of third violation, revocation of the permission of the company and prohibition of broadcast up to the remaining period of permission.

(iv) In the event of failure of the permission holder to comply with the penalties imposed within the prescribed time, revocation of permission and prohibition of broadcast for the remaining period of the permission and disqualification to hold any fresh permission in future for a period of five years.

(v) In the event of suspension of permission, the permission holder shall continue to discharge its obligations under the Grant of Permission Agreement including the payment of fee.

(vi) In the event of revocation of permission, the fees shall be forfeited.

(C) Renewal of permission/ registration will be considered for a period of 10 years at a time, subject to the condition that the company/channel should not have been found guilty of violating the terms and conditions of permission including violations of the programme and advertisement code on five occasions or more. What would constitute a violation would be determined in consultation with the established self-regulating mechanisms.

In practice, based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, complaints against satellite channels are dealt presently in the following manner by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, depending on the seriousness of the violation:

(a) An Advisory is given to the channel; 
(b) Warning is issued;
 
(c) Channel is required to scroll an apology for a specified number of days;
 
(d) Broadcast is suspended for specified time period.

However, it needs to be noted that the token actions mentioned at (a), (b) & (c) above have no legal sanctity.

* Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC):

            Being licensing/registration authority, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is directly responsible for taking action in case of any violations (including violation of programme and advertisement codes) by satellite TV channelsMSO's, DTH, IPTV, HITS operators. 

Complaints can be sent to the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up by the Ministry of I&B for this purpose:

1. The Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,

Chairman, Inter-Ministerial Committee on content violations by satellite TV & FM Radio channels,

R.No. 649, A-Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi -110001. 

Phone: 011-23387558, Fax : 011- 23387617 e-mail : asmib.inb@nic.in


2. The Joint Secretary (Broadcasting), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,

Member-Secretary, Inter-Ministerial Committee on content violations by satellite TV & FM Radio channels,

R.No. 660, A-Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi -110001. 

Phone: 011-23382597, 011-23383857; Fax : 011- 23381043, e-mail : jsb.inb@nic.in


Alternatively, one can easily e-file complaints against TV Channels with Ministry of I&B using www.pgportal.gov.in > Lodge your grievance here > Central Government > Ministry of Information and Broadcasting > Give your name & contact details > Enter complaint details (you can upload a PDF file upto 4 MB also) > Submit > Grievance will be submitted and you will get an instant acknowledgment confirming receipt of your complaint. You can also give reminders for your complaint from time to time.

It is a matter of experience that the Ministry of I&B either doesn't initiate action on complaints or indulges in undue delay in disposing them. In fact, the ministry is blindly sending all content-related complaints to 'self-regulatory' bodies (NBSA/BCCC/ASCI) 'for necessary action' which has no legal basis at all. Further, any action taken subsequently is also not communicated to the complainants either by the so-called 'self-regulatory' bodies or the Ministry. So, it is strongly advised to follow up your complaint by filing an application under RTI act as to what action was initiated on the complaint. One can easily file an RTI application online with Ministry of I&B at the website, https://rtionline.gov.in/ (Registration on the website is also not mandatory.)


* State level & District Level Monitoring Committees:

In 2005 & 2008, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued orders to all state governments for constitution of State level & District Level Committees to monitor the content of private TV Channels and cable networks and forward recommendations to the Ministry of I&B for taking action against erring channels.

In each state, the complaints (especially against regional language channels) can be addressed to the respective Secretary, Information & Public Relations Dept. who is the chairman of the state-level committee. At district level, the complaints can be addressed to the District Collector/Commissioner of Police who is the chairman of the district/commissionerate-level committee. State level Committee has the responsibility to forward the complaints to Ministry of I&B through Chief Secretary with suitable recommendation.

While it is the responsibility of District Collector / Commissioner of Police to take action against the local cable operators, it is the duty of State level committee to recommend action and forward complaints against satellite channels to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting through the Chief Secretary of the State in all cases of violation of Programme and Advertising Codes.

NOTE:  For more information on Content Regulation of private television channels by Ministry of I&B, CLICK HERE


* Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMCC):

Government of India has set up EMMC under Ministry of I&B with following responsibilities:

  • Monitoring of all TV channels down linked in India to check the violations of Programme and Advertisement Codes enshrined in Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995 and rules framed and subsequent amendments.
  • Monitoring of Private FM Radio Channels and any other such work relating to monitoring of content of broadcasting sector as assigned by the government from time to time.
  • Monitoring of Radio and TV channels to check any violation in any act or of any law of the country.

For details, visit: www.emmc.gov.in

Director, Electronic Media Monitoring Centre,

14 B, Ring Road, IP Estate, New Delhi:- 110002 
Tel: 011-23378050, Fax: 011-23378050
e-mail: director-emmc@nic.in, psdir-emmc@nic.in


* BROADCAST CONTENT COMPLAINTS COUNCIL (BCCC) (from 1-7-2011)

: 



This self-regulatory body was established by Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) which represents about 250 non-news, non-current affairs entertainment TV Channels. They have evolved ‘Self-RegulatoryGuidelines for non-news & current affairs programmes’



Complaints in case of violations by member channels of IBF can be sent to:

The Secretary, Broadcasting Content Complaints Council,

C/o Indian Broadcasting Foundation, B-304, 

Ansal Plaza, New Delhi - 110047.

Phone Nos. 011-43794488; 

Fax No. 011-43794455; 

Website: www.ibfindia.com

For detailed complaint procedure of BCCC, CLICK HERE.



* NEWS BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY (NBSA) (from 2-10-2008)

This self-regulatory body was established by News Broadcasters Association (NBA) which represents about 40 news & current affairs Channels. They have evolved Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards

Complaints in case of violations by member channels of NBA can be sent to:

News Broadcasting Standards Authority

C/o News Broadcasters Association
Reg. Off.: 101-103, Paramount Tower
C-17, Community Center, Janakpuri,
New Delhi – 110 058. 

Telefax: 011- 22231872

e-mail: authority@nbanewdelhi.com 

Website: www.nbanewdelhi.com

For detailed complaint procedure of NBSA, CLICK HERE.


* DOORDARSAN:

Doordarsan - General Programme Code

Doordarsan - Advertisement Code

Procedure for enforcement of Advertisement code of DD:

1. Complaints or reports on contraventions of the Code, received by Doordarshan, in the first instance will be referred by Director General, DD to the Advertisers' Associa­tion(s) concerned (ASCI) with request for suitable action.

2. If complaints under the Code cannot be satisfactorily resolved at association(s)'s level they shall be reported to the Director General, DD who will then consider suitable ac­tion.

3. For any complaint under the Code received by Doordar­shan concerning a party outside the purview of the various member association(s), the Director General will draw at­tention of such party to the complaint and where neces­sary, take suitable action on his own.


Services by MSO's/DTH/IPTV/HITS operators:

Content-related violations by MSO's/DTH/IPTV/HITS operators:

     All the entities in broadcast distribution chain apart from private satellite television channels, viz., Local Cable Operators (LCO’s), Multi-system operators (MSO’s), Direct-to-Home operators (DTH), Headend-in-the-Sky operators (HITS) & Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service providers are transmitting or in a position to transmit their own programming services/content/channels and value-added services (like Movies on Demand, Interactive Games etc.) to their respective consumers (apart from re-transmitting the regular channels/content of satellite broadcasters). Accordingly, the provisions of Programme & Advertising Code under the Cable Network Rules, 1994 are equally made applicable to all these service providers.

    Complaints against MSO's/DTH/IPTV/HITS operators can be filed with the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) in the Ministry of I&B. Contact details given above.

Quality of Service & Complaint redressal in MSO/DTH services:    

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was entrusted with discharge of certain functions, inter alia, to regulate the telecommunications, broadcasting and cable TV services and to protect the interests of consumers. Section 11 (1) (b) of the TRAI Act contains the mandatory functions of TRAI, which, inter alia, include ensuring compliance of terms and conditions of licence and to lay down the standards of quality of service and to ensure their quality as to protect interests of the consumers.

 To regulate the quality of services provided by MSO's/DTH operators, TRAI issued following regulations:

 For Digital Addressable System (DAS) consumers, TRAI notified Consumers Complaint Redressal (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations, 2012. For salient features of the regulations, CLICK HERE.

Similarly, Direct to Home Broadcasting Services (Standards of Quality of Service and Redressal of Grievances) Regulation, 2007, essentially covers regulatory provisions relating to protection of the interests of DTH subscribers.

The salient features of the DTH QoS Regulations are as follows: 

(i) The regulations came into force from 1.12.2007. 

(ii) The DTH operator will formulate schemes to offer customer premises equipments (including the set top box) to its subscribers on outright purchase basis, hire-purchase basis and rental basis.  

(iii) A time limit of 5 working days has been prescribed for complying with requests relating to shifting, disconnection and reconnection.

(iv) DTH operator will give notice for discontinuing a channel or for disconnecting a subscriber.

(v) DTH operator will not disable the set top box (STB) if the subscriber has opted out of his service. This will enable the DTH subscriber to use the STB for receiving other DTH services.

(vi) The subscription package offered to a subscriber will not be changed for 6 months. However, the subscriber can opt out of a particular package for any other package at any time.

(vii) DTH operator will establish call centres with sufficient number of telephone lines with “toll free” numbers, such that the benchmarks relating to response time are met (e.g., 80% calls to be answered within 60 seconds in case of voice operators and within 20 seconds if answered electronically, etc.). Each request or complaint to a call centre to be assigned a docket number.

(viii) 90% of complaints regarding non-receipt of signals to be redressed within 24 hrs., and 90% of other type of complaints to be redressed within 48 hrs. No complaint to remain pending beyond 5 days. All billing complaints to be redressed within 7 days.

(ix) DTH operators will nominate Nodal Officers for redressal of grievances of those subscribers who are not satisfied with the redressal at call centre level. The Nodal Officer will redress the grievances within 10 days of registering of the complaint.

(x) Complaints received by TRAI and forwarded to DTH operator will be redressed within 15 days of forwarding, and outcome intimated both to the subscriber as well as to TRAI.

(xi) DTH operator will prepare a manual containing details such as benchmarks for grievance redressal, call centres, Nodal Officers, operating instructions for STB, etc. A copy of the same to be supplied to each subscriber.

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(B) RADIO


* ALL INDIA RADIO (AIR):

All-India Radio - General Programme Code

All-India RadioAdvertisement Code

Procedure for enforcement of Advertisement code of AIR:

1. Complaints or reports on contraventions of the Code, received by AIR, in the first instance will be referred by Director General, AIR to the Advertisers' Associa­tion(s) concerned (ASCI) with request for suitable action.

2. If complaints under the Code cannot be satisfactorily resolved at association(s)'s level they shall be reported to the Director General, AIR who will then consider suitable ac­tion.

3. For any complaint under the Code received by AIR concerning a party outside the purview of the various member association(s), the Director General will draw at­tention of such party to the complaint and where neces­sary, take suitable action on his own.     


* PRIVATE FM RADIO CHANNELS: As per clause no. 11.2 of 'Grant of Permission Agreement (GoPA)' between Ministry of I&B and the permission holder, all private FM Channels shall follow the same Programme Code and Advertisement code as followed by All India Radio as amended from time to time or any other applicable code, which may come into force. The content of FM Radio Channels is being monitored by Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL). 

* Inter-Ministerial Committee:

            Being grantor of permission under 'Grant of Permission Agreement (GoPA)', Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is directly responsible for taking action in case of any violation of programme and advertisement codes by private FM Radio Channels. Complaints can be sent to the same Inter-ministerial Committee which looks into violations by private satellite TV Channels. Contact details given above.

Relevant provisions of 'Grant of Permission Agreement (GoPA)':  

8. Programme Content and Quality of Broadcast:

8.1 The permission holder shall follow the same Programme and Advertisement Code as followed by All India Radio as amended from time to time or any other applicable code, which the Central Government may prescribe from time to time.

8.2 The Permission Holder shall also broadcast Public Interest Announcements as may be required by the Central Government/concerned State Government for maximum of one hour per day suitable/proportional time slots interspersed during that day shall be earmarked for this purpose. In case the total demand of Central Government and the State Government exceeds one hour per day, the concerned State Government shall be eligible for announcements covering only the period remaining after meeting the demand of the Central Government.

8.3 The Permission Holder shall ensure that at least fifty percent (50%) of the programmes broadcast by it are produced in India.

8.4 In case of multiple permissions to a Perrmission Holder entity/related entities in a city the attempt should be to distinguish programming on each channel based on era of music, language of music, genre of music etc to the extent possible to ensure diversity of programming to the listener.

*****

30. Penalties:

30.1 In case there is any violation of conditions cited in 7.1, 7.2 and 8.1, Grantor may suo motto or on basis of complaints take cognizance and place the matter before the Interministerial Committees on Programme and Advertising Codes for recommending appropriate penalties.

On the recommendation of the Committee a decision to impose penalties shall be taken. However, before the imposition of a penalty the Permission Holder shall be given an opportunity to represent its case. The Grantor shall however be at liberty to specify any other mechanism to take action for such violations.

Except wherever provided otherwise, in the event of a permission holder violating any of the terms and conditions of permission, or any other provisions of the FM Radio policy, the Grantor shall have the right to impose the following penalties:

i. In the event of first violation, suspension of the permission and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 30 days.

ii. In the event of second violation, suspension of the permission and prohibition of broadcast up to a period of 90 days.

iii. In the event of third violation, revocation of the permission and prohibition of broadcast up to the remaining period of the permission.

iv. In the event of any violation as mentioned in Para 30.2 , the Grantor shall be well within its right to award a lesser penalty which may include issuance of an advisory or a warning or a direction to run an apology on the channel or in any other manner depending on the gravity of the violation.

v. In the event of the failure of the permission holder to comply with the penalties imposed within the prescribed time, revocation of permission and prohibition to broadcast for the remaining period of the permission and disqualification to hold any fresh permission in future for a period of five years.

30.3 In the event of suspension of permission the permission holder will continue to discharge its obligations under the terms and conditions of permission including the payment of fee.

30.4 In the event of revocation of permission, the Government shall not be responsible for any investment towards the operationalisation of the channel, not limited to capital and operating expenditure, in case of imposition of any penalty referred above.

30.5 The Performance Bank Guarantee deposited by the permission holder for the channel may also be forfeited for failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions of GOPA.

30.6 All the penalties mentioned above shall be imposed only after giving a written notice to the permission holder to rectify the violation within a period of 15 days, failing which he shall be liable for the proposed penalty.

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(C) Films-Cinema

The Cinematograph Act, 1952 & the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983 govern films meant for public exhibition in India:

The principles for guidance in certifying films:

The Cinematograph Act lays down that a film shall not be certified if any part of it is against the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or involves defamation or contempt of court or is likely to incite commission of any offence.

Under section 5B(2) the Central Government has issued the following guidelines to Censor Board (CBFC):

A film is judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impact and is examined in the light of the period depicted in the film and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to whom the film relates, provided that the film does not deprave the morality of the audience. Guidelines are applied to the titles of the films also.

1.      Objectives of Film Certification:

i)    the medium of film remains responsible and sensitive to the values and standards of society;

ii)   artistic expression and creative freedom are not unduly curbed;

iii)  certification is responsible to social changes;

iv)  the medium of film provides clean and healthy entertainment; and

v)   as far as possible, the film is of aesthetic value and cinematically of a good standard.


2.      In pursuance of the above objectives, the CBFC shall ensure that

 i)      anti social activities such as violence are not glorified or justified

ii)      the modus operandi of criminals, other visuals or words likely to incite the commission of any offence are not depicted;

iii)     scenes - a. showing involvement of children in violence as victims or perpetrators or as forced witnesses to violence, or showing children as being subjected to any form of child abuse.

b. showing abuse or ridicule of physically and mentally handicapped persons; and

c. showing cruelty to, or abuse of animals, are not presented needlessly

iv)     pointless or avoidable scenes of violence, cruelty and horror, scenes of violence primarily intended to provide entertainment and such scenes as may have the effect of de-sensitising or de-humanising people are not shown;

v)      scenes which have the effect of justifying or glorifying drinking are not shown;

vi)     scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorise drug addiction are not shown;

a.   scenes tending to encourage, justify or glamorise consumption of tobacco or smoking are not shown;

vii)    human sensibilities are not offended by vulgarity, obscenity or depravity;

viii)   such dual meaning words as obviously cater to baser instincts are not allowed;

ix)     scenes degrading or denigrating women in any manner are not presented;

x)      scenes involving sexual violence against women like attempt to rape, rape or any form of molestation or scenes of a similar nature are avoided, and if any such incidence is germane to the theme, they shall be reduced to the minimum and no details are shown

xi)     scenes showing sexual perversions shall be avoided and if such matters are germane to the theme they shall be reduced to the minimum and no details are shown

xii)     visuals or words contemptuous of racial, religious or other groups are not presented

xiii)    visuals or words which promote communal, obscurantist, anti-scientific and anti-national attitude are not presented

xiv)    the sovereignty and integrity of India is not called in question;

xv)     the security of the State is not jeopardized or endangered

xvi)    friendly relations with foreign States are not strained;

xvii)   public order is not endangered

xviii)  visuals or words involving defamation of an individual or a body of individuals, or contempt of court are not presented

 EXPLANATION: Scenes that tend to create scorn, disgrace or disregard of rules or undermine the dignity of court will come under the term ''Contempt of Court'': and

 xix)   national symbols and emblems are not shown except in accordance with the provisions of the Emblems and Names   (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 (12 of 1950)

 3.      The Board of Film Certification shall also ensure that the film

i)    Is judged in its entirety from the point of view of its overall impact; and

ii)   Is examined in the light of the period depicted in the films and the contemporary standards of the country and the people to which the film relates provided that the film does not deprave the morality of the audience.

4.      Films that meet the above – mentioned criteria but are considered unsuitable for exhibition to non-adults shall be certified for exhibition to adult audiences only.

5.       i)    While certifying films for unrestricted public exhibition, the Board shall ensure that the film is suitable for family viewing, that is to say, the film shall be such that all the members of the family including children can view it together.

ii)   If the Board, having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film is of the opinion that it is necessary to caution the parents / guardian to consider as to whether any child below the age of twelve years maybe allowed to see such a film, the film shall be certified for unrestricted public exhibition with an endorsement to that effect.

iii)   If the Board having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film, is of the opinion that the exhibition of the film should be restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, the film shall be certified for public exhibition restricted to the specialized audiences to be specified by the Board in this behalf.

 6.   The Board shall scrutinize the titles of the films carefully and ensure that they are not provocative, vulgar, offensive or violative of any of the above-mentioned guidelines.

Film Posters:

The Cinematograph Act 1952 does not directly cover obscene posters and these come under the common law of the land relating to obscenity, particularly section 292 of the Indian Penal Code and the enforcement comes within the purview of the State Governments and Union Territory Administrations, particularly their law enforcing agencies including the police.

There are other Central/State legislations that cover this aspect. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 is administered by the Department of Women and Child Development in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, but the responsibility of enforcement is, again, with the local authorities. The West Bengal Government have enacted the 'West Bengal (Compulsory Censorship of Film Publicity Materials) Act, 1974' to deal with obscene and indecent posters. The Tamil Nadu Government has enacted ‘Tamil Nadu (Compulsory Censorship of Film Publicity Materials) Act 1987’. Various Municipalities and Municipal Corporations have laws which regulate display of posters. What is lacking is strict implementation of these laws.

As a self-regulation measure, Film Publicity Screening Committees were formed by Film Chambers of Commerce with headquarters at Bombay and regional chapters at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madras and Thiruvanthapuram. These committees screen films posters for obscenity and depiction of women in a derogatory manner or highlighting violence.

According to Rule 38 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 any person advertising a film by means of insertion in newspapers, hoarding, posters, handbills or trailers shall indicate the category of certification. Non-compliance of this rule will be a cognizable and non-bailable offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952.

 To download complaint form against film advertisements not containing 'A' / 'UA', Click Here 

For more details about film posters, see below section on posters/visual media.

Please note the following:

1. As per Cinematograph law, once a film is certified by the Censor Board (CBFC), the police have no role or jurisdiction over any scenes, dialogues etc. in the film, which may be found to be objectionable. However, police can take action in case of ‘illegal interpolations’, i.e., scenes and dialogues that are not cleared by the Censor Board but included by way of tampering with the film.

2. As per Cinematograph Rules, the regional officer of the Censor Board has to ensure that guidelines issued by the Central Government from time to time (in regard to certifying films as given above) are scrupulously followed while censoring the films. It means that even when the Board members desire to allow a particular scene or dialogue which is otherwise not allowable as per guidelines, it is the personal responsibility of the regional officer to object the same by proper interpretation of the guidelines. 

3. General complaints regarding lenience of Censor Board members / Regional Officer in allowing offensive scenes or deviation from the statutory guidelines in certifying films etc. can be brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting through Joint Secretary (Films)Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Room No. 657, A-Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi -110001. Phone: 011-23383857, Fax : 011- 23384785, e-mail : jsf.inb@nic.indirfilms-inb@nic.in.

              However, in case of specific and serious violations or objectionable scenes, dialogues etc. if any, allowed by the CBFC in films, one should approach the High Court / Supreme Court directly by way of writ petition for necessary relief.  

4. As per Cinematograph Act, 1952, Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983, Cinemas (Rules) framed by various States, the Police and the Revenue Authorities (MRO’s, RDO’s, The Joint Collector and the District Collector) must take immediate action in the following cases of violations as most of the Censorship and Cinematograph violations are cognizable and non-bailable. :

           (i) The producer/distributor of any film must deliver to the distributor/exhibitor, a duplicate copy of the Censor certificate as well as the cut list of that film. The censor certificate and the cut-list should be exhibited at a prominent place in the theatre premises (in the lounge or at the ticket counter etc.) on all days on which the film is exhibited. (Failure to do this is a cognizable and non-bailable offence under Rule no. 30 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 read with section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952; Complaints can be given directly to police).

       (ii) Censor certificate must be shown for a minimum period of 10 seconds before the exhibition of any film, film trailer or advertisement etc. so that the viewers could see the categorization of such film by the Censor Board, i.e, U, U/A, A or S.

          (iii) The Censor certificate granted by the Censor Board shall be valid throughout India for a period of ten years only. Hence, the producer of any film has to apply for a fresh certificate from Censor Board for every ten years.

           (iv) When A-certified films are shown by the film exhibitor, children and teenagers below the age of 18 should not be allowed into the theatre and tickets should not be sold to such persons.

           (v) The exhibitor should not alter or tamper with in any way any film after it has been certified. He/She shall not display or cause to be displayed any photograph, picture or poster which depicts or represents or purports to represent a scene or shot which has been excised from any film under the order of the Central Board of Film Certification or the Central Government.

        (vi) The exhibitor shall not exhibit advertisement slides relating to sexual diseases and medicines to correct sexual disorders or purporting to assist the childless, begetting children.

        (vii) The exhibitor shall not permit obscene or objectionable posters or pictorial publicity material to be displayed in the licensed premises.

     (viii) Smoking in the building, auditorium or enclosure during any cinematograph exhibition shall not be permitted and any infringement of this condition by any person shall be brought to the notice of the police by the management immediately after the occurrence.

         (ix) The exhibitors shall not exhibit unauthorised film posters on government and private property such as walls etc. (Complaint form available above)

NOTE:  Above list is only a compilation of important rules. For detailed legal provisions, one can visit: www.mib.giv.inwww.cbfcindia.gov.in

Regulation of Cinema Theatres:

Andhra Pradesh Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1955

Section 8 Power of Government or District Collector to suspend exhibition of films in certain cases

(1) The Government in respect of the whole of the State or any part thereof, and the District Collector in respect of any area within the local limits of his jurisdiction may, if it or he is of opinion that any film which is being publicly exhibited is likely to cause a breach of the peace, by order, suspend the exhibition of the film, and during such suspension, no person shall exhibit such film or permit it to be exhibited in the State or in such part thereof, or in such area, as the case may be.

(2) Where an order under sub-section (1) has been issued by the District Collector, a copy thereof together with a statement of reasons therefor, shall forthwith be forwarded by him to the Government and the Government may on a consideration of all the facts of the case confirm, modify or cancel the order.

(3) An order made under this section shall remain in force for a period of two months from the date thereof, but the Government may, if it is of opinion that the order should continue to be in force, direct that the period of suspension shall be extended by such further period as it thinks fit.

Section 9 Penalties:

If the owner or person in charge of the cinematograph uses the same or allows it to be used, or if the owner or occupier of any place permits that place to be used, in contravention of the provisions of this Act, or of the rules made thereunder or of the conditions and restrictions upon or subject to which any licence has been granted under this Act , he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to * [ten thousand rupees] and, in the case of a continuing offence, with a further fine which may extend to * [two hundred rupees] for each day during which the offence continues.

Section 9A Penalty for black-marketing in the sale of tickets for admission to cinematograph exhibition

(1) If the owner or person incharge of a cinematograph exhibition either directly or through any other person,--

(i) sells or allows to be sold, the tickets for admission to cinematograph exhibition at any place other than the place licensed under this Act, or

(ii) sells or allows to be sold, such tickets at rates higher than the maximum rates fixed therefor, or

(iii) re-sells or allows to be re-sold such tickets at rates higher than the maximum rates fixed therefor either at the licensed premises or elsewhere-- he shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.

(2) Whoever,--

(a) with a view to re-sell at rates higher than the maximum rates fixed therefor, purchases or keeps in his possession, the tickets for admission to Cinematograph exhibition in excess of the number normally required for use by his family members and not more than four of his guests; or

(b) sells or allows to be sold such tickets at rates higher than the maximum rates fixed therefor either at the licensed premises or elsewhere; shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, an offence punishable under the section shall be cognisable.]

Section 10 Power to revoke * [or suspend] licence

[(1)] Where the holder of a licence has been convicted of an offence under Section 7 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (XXXVII) of 1952), or Section 9 of this Act, the licence may be revoked by the licensing authority.

* [(2) If the licensing authority is satisfied, either on a reference made to it in this behalf or otherwise, that

(a) a licence granted under this Act has been obtained by misrepresentation or fraud as to an essential fact, or

(b) the licensee has, without reasonable cause, failed to comply with any of the provisions of this Act or of the rules made thereunder, or any of the conditions or restrictions upon or subject to, which the licence has been granted, then, without prejudice to any other penalty to which the licensee may be liable under this Act, the licensing authority may, after giving the licensee an opportunity of showing cause, revoke or suspend the licence.

[2A] Where a licence is liable to be revoked or suspended under sub-section

(2) , the licensing authority may, notwithstanding anything in sub-section (2) and for good and sufficient reasons to be recorded in writing, impose on the licensee a sum not exceeding rupees ten thousand by way penalty in lieu of such revocation or suspension.]

(3) When the licensing authority revokes or suspends any licence under sub-section (2), it shall do so by an order communicated to the licensee giving the reasons in writing for such revocation or suspension.

(4) Any person aggrieved by the decision of the licensing authority revoking or suspending a licence under sub-section (2) * [or imposing penalty under sub-section (2-A)] may, within such time as may be prescribed appeal to the Government, and the Government may make such orders as they may think fit.

Provided that no appeal against the decision of the licensing authority under sub-section (2) shall be entertained unless the licensee deposits the sum of penalty specified in the decision aforesaid with such authority and in such manner as may be prescribed

(5) The Government may stay the execution of any such decision, pending the exercise of their powers under sub-section (4) in respect thereof.]


ANDHRA PRADESH CINEMAS (REGULATION) RULES, 1970

APPENDIX 1 Requirements as to Site, Specifications for Construction of a Cinema Building and other General Matters

3. Open spaces, road frontage and entrance and exit for building:- (1) The building shall be provided with:-

(c) an open space for parking of motor cars at the rate of one car for every 50 seats in the first two classes and an open space for parking of cycles at the rate of one cycle for every 25 seats and for parking of scooters at the rate of one scooter for every 50 seats in the remaining classes.

(d) suitable means of entrance and exit which shall not be less than 3 metres in width and 2.4 metres in height for use of the public in the road frontage

……

LICENSING CONDITIONS

12. Conditions of license :- The licence is granted subject to the Provisions of Andhra Pradesh Cinemas (Regulation) Act, 1955 and the rules made thereunder and also subject to the following terms and conditions which may be modified or added to at any time during the currency of the licence:-

(1) This licence does not exempt the licensee or his servants or agents from taking out any other licence required by or otherwise complying with any other law or rule or bye-laws made thereunder.

(2)

(2-A) When the holder of a licence desires to transfer or assign, his licence to some other person he shall, together with the person to whom he desires to make the transfer or assignment make a joint application in writing, to the licensing authority, which granted the licence, setting forth the reasons for the proposed transfer or assignment and giving the particulars required in Form "H".

(3) The licence and the plan and description attached thereto shall be produced on demand by any police officer, not below the rank of a Sub-Inspector, or by the licensing authority or by any person authorised by him, or by the Electrical inspector, or by any person authorised by him, or by any Magistrate having jurisdiction over the area;

(4) The rules, together with the name and address of the licensee affixed thereto, shall be kept during public entertainment, always posted in some conspicuous place at the principal entrance at a height of not more than 1.2 metres from the floor so that all persons entering the licensed premises may be acquainted with them and any breach of the rules shall at once be reported to the licensing authority.

(5) The licensee shall cause the licence of the operator to be displayed in the cabin room.

(6) The regulations to be followed in case of fire shall always be posted in some conspicuous place so that all people connected with the cinema shall be acquainted with their contents.

(7) Unless a cinema buildings is located in a town or village where there is no telephone system in operation and where there is no fire brigade station in places near to it,it shall be, in communication with the nearest fire brigade, by telephone, which shall be fitted at such place and in such manner as may be prescribed by the licensing authority and which shall be always manned and easily accessible to the officers in an emergency.

(8) A report of any fire or alarm of fire, however slight it may be shall be sent at once to the nearest fire brigade.

(9) The fire fighting appliances shall be kept in charge of particular persons who shall be specially trained in the use of such appliances and given suitable drill atleast once in a fortnight and shall not be assigned with any other duties which may require them to go away from the cinema building during exhibitions,

(10) The enclosure and the general lighting of the cinema premises shall be kept under the charge of the cinema operator, who shall be present in the enclosure during the whole time the machine is operated.

(11) A standard first aid equipment shall be provided and placed in an easily accessible position near the entrance to the cinema building and those trained in the use of fire fighting appliances shall also be trained in the methods of giving first-aid.

(12) The licensee shall not exhibit or permit to be exhibited any films, other than a film which has been certified as suitable for public exhibition by the Board of Film Censors constituted under Section 4 of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 (Central Act 37 of 1952), and which, when exhibited displays the prescribed mark of that Board of Film Censors and has not been altered or tampered with in any way since such mark was affixed thereto.

(13) The licensee shall not exhibit advertisement slides relating to sexual diseases and medicines to correct sexual disorders or purporting to assist the childless in begetting children.

(14) The licensee shall not permit obscene or objectionable posters or pictorial publicity material to be displayed in the licensed premises.

(15) The licensee shall not display, or cause to be displayed any photograph, picture, or poster, which depicts or represents or purports to represent a scene or shot which has been excised from any film under the orders of the Central Board of Film Censors or the Central Government.

(16) The licensee shall not exhibit or permit to be exhibited to any person who is not an adult any film which has been certified by the aforesaid Board as suitable for public exhibition restricted to adults.

Explanation: The condition shall not be construed as prohibiting exhibition of a film, in respect of which an A' certificate has been granted to children below the age of three.

(17) No person shall be admitted within the distance between the screen and the first row of seats by providing a strong barrier or other efficient partition and such distance shall not be less than the height of the picture. The first row of seats shall be so fixed as to satisfy the requirements of sub-graphs (8) and (9) of graph 19 in Appendix-I

(18) No leper or any person suffering from an open sore or any loathsome, infectiovs or contagious disease shall be permitted inside the licensed premises and if such person is found in any such premises, the licensee shall immediately report the fact to the nearest officer of the Public Health Department, not below the rank of Sanitary Inspector or to the licensing authority and the licensee shall, at his own cost, take such steps as may be required by such officer or authority to disinfect the place and to prevent the further spread of the infection or contagion.

(19) No unauthorised person shall be allowed to enter the enclosure.

(20) The licensee shall cause the drainage system and also sanitary fittings in the building to be maintained in good order and sanitary condition.

(21).........

(22) The licensee shall cause the premises to be thoroughly cleaned and all refuse matter to be removed a least once in twenty-four hours or more often if so specified.

(23)........(24)........(25)........(26)........

(27) The licensee shall always keep the extractors, exhaust fans, ceiling fans or the air conditioning apparatus and the like, in perfect working order and shall put them on throughout the period when film is being exhibited and the public is seated in the auditorium.

(27-A) The licensee of every air-conditioned theatre shall fix thermometers of farenhiet type at three or four conspicuous places inside the theatre, seven feet above the ground or floor level, and shall keep them properly enclosed in suitable fittings as to avoid any possible damage and to facilitate taking of readings, and also ensure that suitable temperature, ranging between 76-80 F, is maintained in theatre during the whole period of actual running of the shows.

(28) All exit doors shall be kept unbolted during the performance.

(29) The licensee shall not permit or suffer any fire work to be ignited by his servants within 90 metres of the outer walls of the place or building.

(30).........

(31) No inflammabale or explosive substance, such as petroleum, in excess of the quantity required for day's use shall be stored upon within the licensed premises.

(32) Smoking in the building, auditorium or enclosure during any cinematograph exhibition shall not be permitted and any infringement of this condition by any person shall be brought to the notice of the police by the management immediately after the occurrence.

(33).........(34).........(35).........

(36) The number of persons admitted-or the number of tickets sold for admission into any part of auditorium at any particular cinematograph exhibition shall not exceed the number specified in the licence for that part of the auditorium.

(37) Each exit notice shall be illuminated by a light and such lights shall be kept burning the whole time the public are in the premises.

(38) The public may leave at the end of a performance or exhibition by any exit door.

(39) No chair or other obstruction shall be placed in any passage, gang way, or stair-case.

(40)......

(41) The licensee, at each performance, shall also, for five minutes exhibit in such manner the slides supplied by the licensing authority free of cost, as that authority may direct if it is non-commercial

(42) The licensee shall comply with such directions as the Government may, by general or special order, give as to the manner in which approved fims shall be exhibited in the course of any performance.

(43) The licensee shall not allow any performance or exhibit any film by means of a cinematograph before 8-40 a.m. or after 1-30 a.m.

(44)............(45)............

(46) The licensee shall not commit any offence punishable under the Andhra Pradesh Entertainments Tax Act, 1939.

(47) This licence shall be subject to cancellation or suspension for the breach xxx of conditions xxx

(48) The Licensee shall not exhibit or permit to be exhibited, more than one full length feature film at a show on any one ticket.

48-A. The licensee shall produce a certificate from the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce or the Hyderabad State Film Chamber of Commerce for issue or renewal of B-Form licence.

(49) The licensee shall exhibit Telugu Films for a minimum period of 12 (twelve) weeks in a year in regular shows.

49-A. At no point of time during the show, the maximum noise level d8(a) inside the auditorium of the cinema theater shall exceed the following maximum.

 (i) At Source : 90 (ninety) dB(A)

 (ii) At 5 Mts : 86 (eighty six) db(A)

 (iii) At 15 Mts from Source : 80 (eighty)dB(A)

49-B. The Ambient noise level in the licensed premises outside the auditorium should not exceed 55 dB (A) during night time and 65 dB(A) during day time.

(50) The licensee shall not display the wall posters of a film which do not contain the seal of the screening Committee set up by the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce, Hyderabad.

(51) Insurance of Cinema Theatres/Multiplexes for granting Licence to Exhibit Films.

 

GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH (HOME (GENERAL.A) DEPARTMENT)

GO MS No. 100 dt. 26-4-2013

Cinemas – Reclassification of cinema theatres and enhancement of rates of admission – Stipulation of certain conditions for theatres / multiplexes for issue/renewal of license to Multiplexes and other theatres – Orders – Issued.

Salient Provisions:

Government hereby classify areas (cities, towns, etc.) into the following five grades for purposes of fixing the rates of admission into the various classes of the cinema theatres:-

(1)Grade I–Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation

(2)Grade II – All Municipal Corporations

(3)Grade III – Selection Grade, Special Grade Municipalities and First Grade Municipalities

(4)Grade IV - Second Grade Municipalities and Third Grade Municipalities

(5)Grade V – Nagarpanchayats and Gram Panchayats

Ø  The seats in the lowest class shall not be less than 20% of the total seats.


Ø  The managements of the theatres are hereby empowered to fix the ceiling on rates of admission for intermediary classes, such as 2nd or 3rd class, between highest and lowest, depending on the number of classes the management wish to provide, with justifiable reasons with reference to spacing, quality of seats, etc.

Ø  For all future permissions in Municipal Corporations and Municipalities, the licensing authority shall also obtain the traffic impact study by a recognized, qualified agency or Govt. body or university for considering permission for construction clearance.

Ø  Government hereby order the increase of Tax Free Maintenance Charge from Re.1/- to Rs.2/- and from Rs.2/- to Rs.3/- for ordinary and AC /Air Cooled theatres respectively.

Ø  Conditions to be adhered to by all theatres and multiplexes:-

(a)The management/lease holders shall be responsible for ensuring that the relevant conditions stipulated under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and Legal Metrology Packaged Commodity Rules, 2011 are followed.

(b)Compliance with provisions under Food Safety & Standards Regulations, 2011 made under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act) shall be mandatory for all food canteens/points etc. in theatres / multiplexes.

(c).All managements shall extend the benefit of the provisions of Employee Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and Employees State Insurance in favour of all their eligible employees, apart from adhering to Minimum Wages Act, Labour Laws, etc. for the welfare of their employees.

(d).All theatres and multiplexes shall provide two spaces for placing two wheel chairs at convenient spots, with appropriate safety measures such as clamps, etc. for disabled and senior citizens, apart from disabled friendly facilities such as ramps, etc. for accessibility.

ANNEXEURE –III

CONDITIONS FOR MUTIPLEXES

a. The CCTV system shall be maintained without any interruption.

b. Night vision cameras to be installed specially at the box office to capture the images of the patrons buying tickets during the late evening hours.

c. The patrons shall be provided with lifts/escalators for exit at the end of the shows on par with such facility provided at the time of entering the theatre.

d. The first two rows of seats from the screen shall be earmarked and provided at a lower rate of admission than the seats behind.


CONDITIONS FOR THEATRES AND MULTIPLEXES

e. The rates of tickets and rates of online cinema ticket service charges with the name of the agency shall be exhibited at the counter and in any other conspicuous manner.

f. All gangways, exits and treads of steps and stairways shall be maintained with non-slippery surfaces at all times.

g. The corridors, area earmarked for lobby and parking for the use of cine-goers, should not be let out for any commercial or other purpose.

h. No vehicle shall be parked or allowed to stand in such a way as to obstruct exits or impede the rapid dispersal of persons accommodated, in the event of fire or panic.

i. Emergency evacuation plan shall be drawn and got approved by the licensing authority within one month. (Uphaar Theatre- Hon’ble Supreme Court Directions)

j. A short documentary shall be screened during every show by showing the exits, emergency escape routes and instructions as to what to do and what not to do in the case of fire or other hazards (Uphaar Theatre – Hon’ble Supreme Court Directions).

k. The staff/ushers including security staff should be periodically trained to operate the fire safety equipment during emergency in fire drills and evacuation procedures to provide support to the patrons in case of fire or any other calamity. Mock drills shall be conducted once in every 6 months. (Uphaar Theatre- Hon’ble Supreme court Directions).

l. While the theatres are entitled to regulate the exit through doors other than the entry door, under no circumstances should the entry door (which can act as an emergency exit in the event of fire or other emergency) be bolted from outside. At the end of the show, the ushers may request the patrons to use the exit doors by placing a temporary barrier across the entry gate which should be easily movable (Uphaar Theatre – Hon’ble Supreme Court Directions)

m. The emergency department telephone nos. of nearest Hospitals, Police Station and Fire Department shall be displayed in every show.

n. The management should facilitate periodical inspection by the Fire Officer concerned.

o. The management should obtain insurance coverage for all the employees and audience/visitors/vendors.

p. The Management shall ensure all safety measures including fire safety measures as prescribed by Government National Building Code and other statutes or orders issued by Government from time to time.

(D) Print Media (News papers, Magazines etc.)

1. The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 mandates that every copy of a paper or book printed in the country, must contain the name of the owner, editor, publisher, and place of printing date and price of publication.

2. Press Council of India (PCI):

           The Press Council of India is the statutory body for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the Press and for maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India. It was initially established in 1966 through the Press Council Act of 1965 but was dissolved in 1975 during the emergency. It was re-established again under the Press Council Act of 1978. The Council comprises 28 members and a chair. The council has the power to initiate, hear and adjudicate complaints against the press as well as against the authorities. PCI framed 'Norms of Journalistic Conduct (2010)'.

           It is open to any person to lodge a complaint with the Press Council against a newspaper for a breach of the recognized ethical canons of journalistic propriety and taste.
In case of complaints against newspapers, magazines or any publication or non-publication which you find objectionable and affects you personally, you should first take it up with the editor or other representative of the publication concerned.   If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may refer it to the Press Council of India (PCI). Also, if a newspaper or journalist is aggrieved by any action of any authority that may impinge on the freedom of the press, he can also file a complaint with the Council. Declaration regarding the non-pendency of the matter in any court of law is also necessary. 

           The Council can issue show cause notice to the respondents and based on further inquiry, the Council keeping in view the gravity of the misconduct committed by the newspaper, warns, admonishes or censures the newspaper or disapproves the conduct of the editor or the journalist as the case may be. It may also direct the respondent newspaper to publish the contradiction of the complainant or a gist of the Council’s decision in its forthcoming issue.  

Send your complaints or inquiries to:                                                                                                                         

The Secretary,
Press Council of India,
Soochna Bhavan, 8-C.G.O. Complex,
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003. 

Phone No’s: 011- 24366746/47, 011- 24366404/05, Fax: 011- 24366224
e-mail :
pcibpp@gmail.com, pcibppcomplaint@gmail.com
pci@alpha.nic.in, pcids@vsnl.net

For Detailed Complaint Procedure and Declaration Form, CLICK HERE

For more details, visit: www.presscouncil.nic.in


3. In case of Print media (Newspapers, Magazines, Books, Photographs or any other printed material), the Police are empowered to file cases in all of the following violations:

a. As per IPC 292, any book, pamphlet, paper, poster, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure or any other object, shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt person who are likely to read, see or hear the matter contained in it. 

         * Hon’ble Supreme Court in Ranjit D. Udeshi vs State Of Maharashtra, on 19 August, 1964, observed thus: “…the test to adopt in our country (regard being had to our community mores) is that obscenity without a preponderating social purpose or profit cannot have the constitutional protection of free speech and expression, and obscenity is treating with sex in a manner appealing to the carnal side of human nature, or having that tendency.”  

          * In Ramesh vs. Union of India & Ors, on 16 February, 1988, the Supreme Court held: The correct approach in judging the effect of exhibition of a film or of reading a book is to judge from the standards of ordinary reasonable man.”  

        * In Shankar vs State of T.N, on 4 April, 1994, the Supreme Court commenting on the deleterious impact of obscenity, especially in films and television said: By exhibiting scenes of violence, sex, rape, bootlegging and drug trafficking etc. in such a manner or manners which have the propensities of disturbing or corrupting the minds of some viewers like children and particularly of those who are weak-minded, wayward, indisciplined, frustrated and likewise, who are very likely to become wicked and evil- minded and ultimately end up as criminals indulging in organised crime, the avowed object gets frustrated.”  

          * In Aveek Sarkar & Anr. vs. State of West Bengal & Ors., on 3-2-2014, the Supreme Court held: “The picture should be suggestive of deprave mind and designed to excite sexual passion in persons who are likely to see it, which will depend on the particular posture and the background in which the nude/semi-nude woman is depicted. Only those sex-related materials which have a tendency of “exciting lustful thoughts” can be held to be obscene…  

b. As per IPC 293, Whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any obscene material as referred to in the section 292, or offers or attempts so to do, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.

         * Hon’ble Supreme Court in Chandrakant Kalyandas Kakodar vs State Of Maharashtra and Ors, on 25 August, 1969, said: “What has to be seen is that whether a class, not an isolated case, into whose hands the book, article or story falls suffer in their moral outlook or become depraved by reading it or might have impure or lecherous thoughts aroused in their minds. The charge of obscenity must, therefore, be judged from this aspect.”

           * In Samaresh Bose and Anr vs Amal Mitra and Anr, on 24 September, 1985, the Court said: “In our opinion, in judging the question of obscenity,…The Judge should thereafter place himself in the position of a reader of every age group in whose hands the book is likely to fall and should try to appreciate what kind of possible influence the book is likely to have in the minds of the readers.”  

c. The depiction in any manner of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals amounts to ‘Indecent Representation of Women’ and attracts section 6 of Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.

d. The Young Person (Harmful Publications) Act, 1956 prohibits the dissemination and publication likely to encourage antisocial tendencies and deemed to be harmful to persons under the age of twenty years. This act came into force on 1st January 1957. Section 3 of the Act imposes penalty for certain act of harmful publication and punishment is given on contravening upto six-month imprisonment or with fine or with both. The court may order the destruction of all copies of harmful publication on a conviction.

To download general complaint template against obscene material in print media, Click Here

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(E) Visual Media  (Posters, Hordings etc.)

                      1. The disfigurement of open places by pasting ‘unauthorised’, ‘objectionable’ or ‘obscene’ posters on public and private walls is a punishable offence under AP Prevention of Disfigurement of Open Places and Prohibition of Obscene and Objectionable Advertisements Act, 1997. As per section 16 of the act, in case of districts, the Collectors are responsible to enforce the act through an officer not below the rank of MRO/Tahasildar and in case of cities, the Police Commissioners are responsible to enforce the act through an officer not below the rank of Inspector of Police.  (In districts, complaints can be given to MRO’s, RDO’s, Joint Collector or Collector. In the cities of Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Cyberabad and Hyderabad, complaints can be given to Inspectors of Police, ACP’s, DCP’s and the Commissioner of Police.) 

 To download complaint form (against unauthorised / objectionable posters)Click Here              

                 2. The film posters, hoardings and advertisements must contain the mandatory 'UA' or 'A' or ‘S’ certified title of Censor Board. The non-indication attracts rule 38 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983 which says any person advertising a film by means of insertion in newspapers, hoarding, posters, handbills or trailers shall indicate the category of certification. Non-compliance of this rule will be a cognizable and non-bailable offence under section 7 of Cinematograph Act 1952. (Complaints can be given directly to the Police).

 To download complaint form against film advertisements not containing 'A' / 'UA', Click Here         

            3. The film posters should contain AP Film Chamber of Commerce's 'film publicity screening committee seal' which is mandatory as per Rule 50 of AP Cinemas rules, 1970. This means that Censor Board has no role regarding obscene or objectionable posters as they are self-censored by the APFCC. Hence, displaying and advertising through any film posters which are not approved by the APFCC will amount to violation of licensing conditions and can result in the cancellation of license also. (Complaints can be given to the MRO’s, RDO’s, Joint Collector and the District Collector)              

            4. Posters and hoardings containing obscenity and vulgarity attracts Section 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women(Prohibition) Act, 1986. Any depiction of the figure of a woman; her form or body or any part thereof in such way as to have the effect of being indecent, or derogatory to, or denigrating women, or is likely to   corrupt   the public morality amounts to Indecent Representation of Women. (Complaints should be given directly to the Police.                     

            5. Section 292 of IPC directly deals with any obscene poster, book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting, representation, figure etc. The material shall be deemed to be obscene if it is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons, who are likely to read, see or hear the matter contained in it. (Complaints should be given to the Police.)             

               6.  As per Section 293 of IPC, whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of twenty years any such obscene material as is referred to in the section 292 IPC, or offers or attempts so to do, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees. (Complaints should be given to the Police.) 

              7. As per the Rules framed under AP Municipalities Act, 1967, film advertisements shall not be exhibited in any theatre or premises of any theatre by the exhibitor (theatre owner) unless there is prior approval by the Municipality and tax should be paid on such advertisements. The municipal stamp, permission number and the date should be indicated on such approved advertisements. (Complaints can be given to the Municipal Commissioner.)

Other provisions: 

1. All theatre owners should maintain the list of slides, shorts, trailers, and films being exhibited by them and should produce such material in case of inspection by the authorities.

2. Any advertisement, before being exhibited in any town, should be brought to the notice of the municipality and tax should be paid on it.

3. If the content of any advertisement is obscene or objectionable or lowering the public sentiment or good taste, the commissioner can reject approval for such advertisement.

4. Along with tax, rent also should be paid for the advertisements/hoardings erected on road margins.

5. Through a council notification, the municipality can prohibit display of advertisements in certain places such as road junctions, residential areas etc.

6. The commissioner is empowered to enter such places and scrutinise advertisements and can order the removal of Unauthorised advertisements, if any.

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(F) Internet

1. The Information Technology Act, 2000 (as amended in 2008):

67. Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or if its effect is such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

67A. Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

67B. Whoever,—

(a) publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted material in any electronic form which depicts children engaged in sexually explicit act or conduct; or

(b) creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges or distributes material in any electronic form depicting children in obscene or indecent or sexually explicit manner; or

(c) cultivates, entices or induces children to online relationship with one or more children for and on sexually explicit act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult on the computer resource; or

(d) facilitates abusing children online, or

(e) records in any electronic form own abuse or that of others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children, shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees; Provided that provisions of section 67, section 67A and this section does not extend to any book, pamphlet, paper, writing, drawing, painting representation or figure in electronic form—

(i) the publication of which is proved to be justified as being for the public good on the ground that such book, pamphlet, paper, writing drawing, painting representation or figure is the interest of science, literature, art or learning or other objects of general concern; or (ii) which is kept or used for bona fide heritage or religious purposes.

Explanation- For the purposes of this section “children” means a person who has not completed the age of 18 years.

2. Any police officer, not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, or any other officer of the Central Government or a State Government authorised by the Central Government in this behalf may enter any public place and search and arrest without warrant any person found therein who is reasonably suspected or having committed or of committing or of being about to commit any offence under this Act.

3. For blocking objectionable websites/webpages (including pornographic sites & any other online content that is otherwise illegal as per extant laws in India) Government of India (Ministry of Communications and Information Technology) issued a Notification dated 27th February, 2003 which provides that India (Computer Emergency Response Team-IND) shall be the single authority for issue of instructions in the context of blocking of websites. CERT-IND, after verifying the authenticity of the complaint and after satisfying that action of blocking of website is absolutely essential, shall instruct Department of Telecommunications (DOT) - (LR Cell) to block the website. DOT, under whose control the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are functioning will ensure the blocking of websites and inform CERT-IND accordingly."

One can approach CERT-IND only through the following authorities:

  • Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
  • Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
  • Foreign Secretary in the Department of External Affairs or a representative not below the rank of Joint Secretary.
  • Secretaries, Departments of Home Affairs of each of the States and of the Union Territories.
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Director General of Police of all the States and such other enforcement agencies.
  • Secretaries of Heads of all the Information Technology Departments of all the States and Union Territories not below the rank of Joint Secretary of Central Government.
  • Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission or Minorities Commission or Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes Commission or National Women Commission.
  • The directives of the Courts.
  • Any others as may be specified by the Government.

The CERT-IND is located at Electronics Niketan, 6, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003

* Cyber Laws for Every Citizen (See pages 135-141)

For more details, you can visit: www.deity.gov.in, www.naavi.org


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(G) Telecommunications


Since the invention of the telephone, devices have dramatically evolved from relatively primitive tools of communication to state-of-the-art mobile multi-communication sources. Today, mobile phone is the one-stop hub for all of our communication needs on the go. Once primarily a device for inter-personal communication, the mobile phone has assumed all key characteristics of mass media e.g., the ability to send bulk SMS’s to people, tele-marketing, variety of commercial & self-promotional messages sent by mobile operator, access to internet, social networking options etc. Because of these myriad capabilities, the mobile phone is hailed as the 7th mass media channel, the other six being Print, Recordings, Cinema, Radio, Television and the Internet.

Provisioning of Telecommunications Services in India is governed by the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, Indian Telegraph Rules, 1951. This Act governs the setting up of telecommunications network and the use of telecommunications services in India. The Act prohibits anyone from providing, running or maintaining a telecommunication network in India without a valid license issued by the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.

The telecommunications services cannot be used for carrying objectionable, obscene, unauthorized or any other content, messages or communications infringing copyright & intellectual property in any form.

Clause 38.1 TERMS AND CONDITIONS (Chapter-V - Operating Conditions) in the schedule to LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR UNIFIED LICENSE reads:

“Carriage of objectionable, obscene, unauthorized or any other content, messages or communications infringing copyright and intellectual property right etc., in any form, in the network is not permitted as per established laws of the country. Once specific instances of such infringement are reported to the Licensee by the enforcement agencies/Licensor, the Licensee shall take necessary measures to prevent carriage of such messages in its network immediately.”

Thus, the fixed line & mobile phone service providers are prohibited from sending any objectionable, obscene, unauthorized, IPR-infringing content, messages or communications through their services.

Complaint Redressal in case of Mobile telephone services:

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued TelecomConsumers Complaint Redressal Regulations, 2012 making telecom service providers accountable to the customers. These regulations mandate a two-tier grievance redressal procedure for telecom consumers. Every telecom service provider has to establish a Complaint Centre for receipt and redressal of complaints through a toll-free “Consumer Care Number” and appoint an appellate authority to hear appeals in cases of non-resolution of complaints at the level of Complaint Centre. The appellate authority is advised by a two-member advisory committee consisting of one nominee of service provider and one from a consumer organisation. A time-bound and web-based Complaint Monitoring and redressal system is stipulated. Further, every telecom service provider is mandated to give wide publicity about the complaint redressal mechanism for the information of customers through Hindi, English and local newspapers, display on the website of the service provider, display in all Complaint Centres and sales outlets etc. TRAI also put in place a Telecom Consumer Complaints Monitoring System by maintaining a separate website (http://www.tccms.gov.in/)

TRAI Consumers’ Handbook on Telecommunications, 2012                    

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(H) Advertisements

Various laws related with advertisements which are in operation in India are as under:

1. The India Penal Code, 1860, prohibits the dissemination of any obscene matter under section 292 and 293 and this act also prohibits the publication of matter connected with unauthorized lotteries and publication of appeals using national symbols for furthering the prospects of any candidate at an election. Further it prohibits the offences which incite enmity between different classes of citizens and spreading of any rumours or reports likely to incite members of the armed forces to mutiny or failure of duty and which cause alarm to any section of public whereby there is an inducement to commit an offence against the state or against public peace and which incite one class or community against another and which alter words to make visible representations which intend toward religious feelings or beliefs of another persons, or of any class of citizens.

 2The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 has been enacted which is an act to control the advertisements of drugs in certain cases, to prohibits the advertisements for certain purposes of remedies alleged to possess magic qualities and to provide for matters connected therewith. Any notice, circular label, wrapper or other document and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting light sound or smoke are considered as Advertisement. If any person contravenes any of the provisions of the Act, shall be liable to be punished upto six months imprisonment with fine or both in case of first conviction and upto one year imprisonment with fine or with both under section 7 of the Act in subsequent convictions.

3. The Prize Competitions Act, 1955 prohibits the publication of advertisements relating to unauthorized prize competition.

4. The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 forbids the depiction of women in an indecent or derogatory manner in mass media. Such offences are punishable with imprisonment extending upto two years and with a fine extending upto two thousand rupees on first conviction and for second and subsequent convictions, a minimum term of six months extendable to five years together with a minimum fine of ten thousand rupees extendable to one lakh rupees is prescribed.

5. Rule 7 of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Rules, 1994 contains ‘Advertisement Code’ to be followed by all local cable networks, all private satellite TV channels, MSO's/DTH/HITS/IPTV service providers. 

6. The All India Radio Code for commercial advertising originally covers advertising on television also. It lays down standards of conduct for advertisers. The code of commercial advertising on Doordarshan was published in 1986. The current broadcasting policy is based on Article 19(2) of the Indian Const and the AIR code of 1970. These provisions mandates that broadcasts should not indulge in the criticism of friendly countries, attach religion or communities, air obscene or defamatory material, incite violence and the like.

Advertising by Advocates:

Rules on the professional standards that an advocate needs to maintain are mentioned in Chapter II, Part VI of the Bar Council of India Rules. These rules have been placed there under section 49(1)(c) of the Advocates Act, 1961.

RULES ON AN ADVOCATE’S DUTY TOWARDS FELLOW ADVOCATES:

1. Not advertise or solicit work

An advocate shall not solicit work or advertise in any manner. He shall not promote himself by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews other than through personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he has been engaged or concerned.

2. Sign-board and Name-plate

An advocate’s sign-board or name-plate should be of a reasonable size. The sign-board or name-plate or stationery should not indicate that he is or has been President or Member of a Bar Council or of any Association or that he has been associated with any person or organisation or with any particular cause or matter or that he specialises in any particular type of work or that he has been a Judge or an Advocate General.

3. Not promote unauthorized practice of law

An advocate shall not permit his professional services or his name to be used for promoting or starting any unauthorised practice of law.

Advertising by Doctors:

In exercise of the powers conferred under section 20A read with section 33(m) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, the Medical Council of India, with the previous approval of the Central Government, made regulations relating to the Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics for registered medical practitioners, namely, the Indian Medical Council (Professional conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.

CHAPTER 6

6. UNETHICAL ACTS:

A physician shall not aid or abet or commit any of the following acts which shall be construed as unethical -

6.1 Advertising:

6.1.1 Soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organisations is unethical. A physician shall not make use of him / her (or his / her name) as subject of any form or manner of advertising or publicity through any mode either alone or in conjunction with others which is of such a character as to invite attention to him or to his professional position, skill, qualification, achievements, attainments, specialities, appointments, associations, affiliations or honours and/or of such character as would ordinarily result in his self aggrandizement. A physician shall not give to any person, whether for compensation or otherwise, any approval, recommendation, endorsement, certificate, report or statement with respect of any drug, medicine, nostrum remedy, surgical, or therapeutic article, apparatus or appliance or any commercial product or article with respect of any property, quality or use thereof or any test, demonstration or trial thereof, for use in connection with his name, signature, or photograph in any form or manner of advertising through any mode nor shall he boast of cases, operations, cures or remedies or permit the publication of report thereof through any mode. A medical practitioner is however permitted to make a formal announcement in press regarding the following:

1.         On starting practice.

2.         On change of type of practice.

3.         On changing address.

4.         On temporary absence from duty.

5.         On resumption of another practice.

6.         On succeeding to another practice.

7.         Public declaration of charges.

6.1.2 Printing of self photograph, or any such material of publicity in the letter head or on sign board of the consulting room or any such clinical establishment shall be regarded as acts of self advertisement and unethical conduct on the part of the physician. However, printing of sketches, diagrams, picture of human system shall not be treated as unethical.

6.2 Patent and Copy rights: A physician may patent surgical instruments, appliances and medicine or Copyright applications, methods and procedures. However, it shall be unethical if the benefits of such patents or copyrights are not made available in situations where the interest of large population is involved.

Advertising by Mutual Fund Companies:

EXCERPTS FROM SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE BOARD OF INDIA (MUTUAL FUNDS) REGULATIONS, 1996

Regulation 2 (b)Definition

In SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996, unless the context otherwise requires:

(b) “advertisement” shall include all forms of communication issued by or on behalf of the asset management company/mutual fund that may influence investment decisions of any investor/prospective investors;;

Regulation 30Advertisement Material

30. Advertisements shall be in conformity with the Advertisement Code as specified in the Sixth Schedule and shall be submitted to the Board within 7 days from the date of issue.

Regulation 31Misleading statements

31. The offer document and advertisement materials shall not be misleading or contain any statement or opinion which are incorrect or false.

 

SIXTH  SCHEDULE  

Securities  and  Exchange  Board  of  India  (Mutual  Funds)  Regulations,  1996  

(As  amended  by  Securities  and  Exchange  Board  of  India  (Mutual  Funds)  (Amendment)  Regulations,  2012)  

ADVERTISEMENT  CODE  

(a)  Advertisements  shall  be  accurate,  true,  fair,  clear,  complete,  unambiguous  and  concise.   

(b)  Advertisements  shall  not  contain  statements  which  are  false,  misleading,  biased  or  deceptive,  based  on  assumption/projections  and  shall  not  contain  any  testimonials  or  any  ranking  based  on  any  criteria.   

(c)  Advertisements  shall  not  be  so  designed  as  likely  to  be  misunderstood  or  likely  to  disguise  the  significance  of  any  statement.  Advertisements  shall  not  contain  statements  which  directly  or  by  implication  or  by  omission  may  mislead  the  investor.   

(d)  Advertisements  shall  not  carry  any  slogan  that  is  exaggerated  or  unwarranted  or  slogan  that  is  inconsistent  with  or  unrelated  o  the  nature  and  risk  and  return  profile  of  the  product.   

(e)  No celebrities  shall  form  part  of  the  advertisement.   

(f)  Advertisements  shall  not  be  so  framed  as  to  exploit  the  lack  of  experience  or  knowledge  of  the  investors.  Extensive  use  of  technical  or  legal  terminology  or  complex  language  and  the  inclusion  of  excessive  details  which  may  detract  te  investors  should  be  avoided.   

(g)  Advertisements  shall  contain  information  which  is  timely  and  consistent  with  the  disclosures  made  in  the  Scheme  Information  Doument,  Statement  of  Additional  Information  and  the  Key  Information  Memorandum.   

(h)  No  advertisement  shall  directly  or  indirectly  discredit  other  advertisements  or  make  unfair  comparisons.   

(i)  Advertisements  shall  be  accompanied  by  a  standard  warning  in  legible  fonts  which  states  “Mutual  Fund  investments  are  subject  to  market  risks,  read  all  scheme  related  documents  carefully.”  No  addition  or  deletion  of  words  shall  be  made  to  the  standard  warning.   

(j)  In  audio‐visual  media  based  advertisements,  the  standard  warning  in  visual  and  accompanying  voice  over  reiteration  shall  be  audible  in  a  clear  and  understandable  manner.  For  example,  in  standard  warning  both  the  visual  and  the  voice  over  reiteration  containing  14  words  running  for  at  least  5  seconds  may  be  considered  as  clear  and  understandable.  


Self-regulation in advertising:

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a private ‘self-regulatory’ organization for advertisements. It is sponsored by some of the major private companies, firms, advertisers, media, Advertising Agencies etc. It has established a Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) to examine the complaints received. 

Complaints against any objectionable advertisements in the Print media, television, internet etc. can be addressed to Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

For ASCI's Self-regulatory Code for advertising, CLICK HERE

To file/track complaints online, CLICK HERE

By post/courier, you can send complaints to:

The Secretary General,
219, Bombay Market, 78 Tardeo Road,
Mumbai 400 034
Tel: (022) 23521066/23516863
Toll Free Number : 1-800-22-2724 
Fax: 23516863e-mail: contact@ascionline.org

Website: www.ascionline.org

To download Complaint form (to ASCI against any objectionable advertisement)CLICK HERE

In case you send your complaint by e-mail please follow-up with a hard copy of your complete complaint with enclosures, by post to the above address. 

As far as TELEVISION advertisements are concerned, the decisions of ASCI were given legal sanctity. Cable Network Regulation Rules, 1995 provides: “No advertisement which violates the Code for self-regulation in advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI), Mumbai for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service.” This means advertisements which were held to be violative of ASCI code for self-regulation in advertising by ASCI are prohibited for telecast by any satellite channel/Cable/MSO/DTH/HITS/IPTV operator in India.

To know the details of all advertisements upheld by ASCI as violative of Code of Self-Regulation, CLICK HERE


(I) General / Miscellaneous

1. Indian Telegraph Act 1885: Control of Government over broadcasting rests in Article 246 of the Indian Constitution and in several other laws including the ITA 1885 and the Indian Wireless Act 1933.

2. The India Post Office Act, 1898 imposes prohibition on the transmission of any indecent or obscene matter through the post and allows for inception in the interest of public safety. Under this act, it is prohibited to transmit by post of tickets, proposals, etc., relating to unauthorized lotteries. A person should not send by post the proposal or advertisement relating to a lottery or any indecent or obscene printing, painting, photograph, lithograph, engraving, book or card or any other indecent or obscene article or any postal article having thereon or on the cover thereof, any word, marks or designs of an indecent obscene, seditious, scurrilous, threatening or grossly offensive character under section 20 of the Act. Section 23 of the Act provides any postal articles sent by post in contravention of the provisions may be detained. Section 19A and 20 provides to allow opening and destroying or may be disposed of in such a manner as the Central Government may direct by rule, respectively. According to section 20 of the Act, contravening the provisions is punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to one year or fine or with both.

3. Official Secrets Act, 1923, which prohibits obtaining, collecting, recording or publishing of secret government documents or photographs or sketches, plans or notes or models that enemy of state could use. It is this Act, which prevents Indian journalists from publishing inside information about the government.

4. The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 forbids the use by any private party of certain names, emblems etc.

5. The Prize Competitions Act, 1955 prohibits the publication of advertisements relating to unauthorized prize competition.

6. The Copy Right Act, 1957 which protects the original work of writers, artists, musicians, dramatists, film and video producer and other creative persons from being pirated. Infringement of copyright or other rights conferred by Copyright Act is an offence. It shall be punishable with imprisonment, which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

7. The Children Act, 1960 prohibits the disclosure of names, address and any other particulars of any child involved in any proceedings.

8. Section 11 of the Custom Act, 1962, which gives government the power to ban import and export of goods in the interest of security, public order, decency and morality.

9. Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 defines unfair trade practice to cover several acts aimed at promoting the sale, use of supply of any good, or the provision of any services which cause loss or injury to the consumers of those goods and services. Disobedience to Act has made punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

10. The Prevention to Insults to the National Honor Act, 1971 forbids the bringing into contempt of the national flag or the constitution of India in any manner.

11. Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 relates to the willful disobedience of judicial orders and the like and to any publication, which interferes with or undermines the administration of justice. For example, a journalist is guilty of contempt of court if he or she publishes a report on a case held in camera (in the private chamber of judge).

12. The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 empowers the government to declare certain copies of publications forfeited and to issue search warrants for such publications that offends Indian Penal Code provisions relating to public order or security of the state.

13. The Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978 imposes a prohibition in respect of chit and money circulation schemes.                                         

14. Prasar Bharti Act, 1990 envisaged the setting up of 22 member parliamentary committee to oversee the autonomous corporation as well as a Broadcasting Council to hear complaints.