Outrageous Challenge to Freedom of Expression

Outrageous Challenge To Freedom Of Expression

N. Ram

“The show-cause notices sent by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to three television news channels, NDTV 24×7, Aaj Tak, and ABP News, for so-called violations of the programme code prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 in their coverage of the serious issues arising from the execution of Yakub Memon are a flagrant attempt to stifle constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. The grounds cited – exploiting the central government’s power of licensing, and the claimed authority to ‘regulate the content’ of private satellite television channels – are specious and patently arbitrary and unlawful. In the latest instance, regulation under the guise of enforcing the programme code has become indistinguishable from crude censorship.”