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In this blogpost, Mayuri Khandelwal, a student of IInd year, Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur, writes about the procedure which needs to be followed before filing a complaint against any content which has been broadcasted, and also mentions various forums under which such complaint can be filed.

Media owners aim to drive revenues through sensationalizing content to draw more and more viewers from the buying class of the society. They have self-regulation instead of state control. But a user should know that his powers are not restricted to switching over to another TV channel or tune into another radio station if you find content provoking or inappropriate to be shown on national television. You can legally file a complaint against that media content.

Grounds on which complaint can be filed

  1. To file a complaint, the user has to be sure that the content, against which the complaint is being filed, should fall under the following categories of violations:
  • Child Abuse: This includes child maltreatment like physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse of children. Child marriages are also covered under this head.
  • Violence against Women: This category deals with offences which are gender specific.
  • If the user finds anything which contains anything obscene or nudity or sexual conduct which is not appropriate for children.
  • Broadcasting anything which creates superstition in the minds of the viewers.
  • Any content which creates a communal disturbance or promotes violence, it can be in the form of any speech, statement or any video. Also, the content which is against the law and order the country.
  • Excessive usage of drugs, alcohol and solvent abuse.
  • Coarse and offensive language or the content which contains explicit scenes of violence.
  • Content which contains criticism of friendly countries.
  • Criticizing any particular religion or a particular caste or tribe in the country.

However, it is to be noted that this list is not exhaustive.

  1. Then the user needs to record that piece of content which according to him is objectionable; this can be done either electronically or by making notes.
  2. Another important thing to be kept in mind is that the user must always note the name of the show in which such objectionable content is being shown with the name of the channel and the date and time of the broadcast.

Time period for filing the complaint

A complaint should be made to the broadcaster, within 7 days from the date of the first broadcast of that particular episode or news or the show, which is broadcasting such content, and the time period shouldn’t exceed more than that.

Procedure for filing the complaint

  1. Immediately record the biased segment or message. Note the basic 5W’s: who, where, what, when, why and how. Then write down clear details, also try to describe in detail what was said or shown and in what context. Make sure to write down the correct name of the show, the channel responsible for the segment, along with the exact date and time.
  2. Mention the objection first then use a constructive approach for more strategic reasons. A polite and moderate tone projects an image of reason, firmness and seriousness. Try to avoid being emotional and using the words which suggest insults, threats or overreaction. Remember that your main goal is to get a public apology, and prevent further bias and mobilize public support for your viewpoint. Using antagonistic and negative approach often makes people more defensive, and this stops them to take any suggestions or demands for change.
  3. Always communicate directly to authority- For practical purposes, you may find it more persuasive and effective to send your complaint to EMCC and also to the concerned channel. And it’s very important that you always keep a copy of your complaint for future references and records.

Various laws applicable on the operation of cable television

In the year 1995, in the famous “Airwaves” case wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court said that “the broadcasting media should be under the control of the public and distinct from the Government”. But there are certain acts for the regulation of media.

The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995- This act aims to provide a basic framework to regulate the operations of cable television broadcast across the Indian Territory. According to this Act, channels on TV and radio are bound to adhere to advertising and programme codes prescribed by the Law. And the non-adherence to the standard codes can lead to legal proceedings under the Criminal Procedure Code.

This Act was further amended in the year 2000, and 2002, to include new developments in broadcast media, such as Direct-To-Home services. Apart from this, The Cinematographic Act, 1952, also gives powers to government nodal agencies to regulate content in films and video productions.

Emcc – ELECTRONIC MEDIA MONITORING CENTER

EMMC has the authority to monitor broadcasters and cable operators with reference to the quality of the content they are broadcasting. If something is of mediocre quality and has content that many may find violating the ethics of society, or any guidelines and any Law of the Government of India, then viewers can file a complaint.

Bccc – broadcasting content complaints council

Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) is the self-regulatory body for non-news, general entertainment channels (GECs) set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) in consultation with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB). BCCC has so far, issued ten advisories relating to the necessary restraint on the content of television shows. The advisories issued by the committee headed by Justice AP Shah are Portrayal of women, Treatment and Sexualisation of children along with their health and safety, Telecast of award functions, Treatment of animals/wildlife, TV comedy shows, Telecast of content on children’s or cartoon channels, Telecast of content sensitive to minorities and Showing acid attacks on TV.

News Broadcaster Association (NBA)

This is another agency which seeks consumer complaints against unlawful reporting. It is an industry consortium for news broadcast channels and aims to promote self-regulation in news reporting. It mainly deals with the news channels.

Zee broadcasting

Zee Corp. has taken an initiative under which any complaint relating to the content of TV channels of Zee Media Corporation Ltd can be registered under the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards and News Broadcasting Standards (Disputes Redressal) Regulations of News Broadcasters Association (NBA) to the person appointed by the Company[1].

There are some complaints registered against TV shows like:-

  • Jodha Akbar telecasted by Zee TV;
  • Nach Baliye 7 telecasted by Star Plus
  • Balika Vadhu telecasted by Colors TV.

In April last year, the Council had even issued an advisory to all channels asking them to ‘refrain from airing any content that may amount to misuse or wrong depiction of the national flag, national emblem, national anthem and map of India’. The body has sent the advisory to all the channels and reiterated the points stated in the document.

 

Guidelines one can refer to while filing a complaint against a TV show or NEWS channel

Though it is the responsibility of the Government to regulate the electronic media but ultimately viewers play a very significant role in regulating the media and this can be done by raising their voices which will ultimately benefit the society and secure our values and ethics.

[1] http://zeenews.india.com/disputes.html

[2] http://www.ibfindia.com/

[3] http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/

[4] http://www.telegraphindia.com/

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37 COMMENTS

  1. I saw serial ‘tumse hai rabta’ today (04/11/2018) first the way girls are tied up n put on auction sort of selling, is highly objectionable…what message is being given through such acts..?As if it was not enough, another scene where girl gets a gift in which chopped finger of another abducted girl is sent n there is a dialogue afterwards that all fingers would b cut n sent one by one…!! Disgusting….!! Why such things are shown…giving ideas to the miscreants…!! Please check such things..!!

  2. Param avtaar shri krishan me makers apni marzi kuch bhi faltu ulta sidha stroy bnakar dikhate hai only trp or earning ke liye. Public ko pagal bna rahe hai radha krishan avtaar me bhut stroy different trha se dikha rahe vo kirdaar vo lila jbki radha kor krishn k jiwan me hui hi nahi….for example….radha ko aadhishakti bna diya or 9 rup me pesh kr diya sach me aisa lgta h jese public pagal hai jo marzi dikha do or bhkto ki aashta ke sath khelo…or dhrm ko apni marzi se kuch bhi mod do dilha do…..mahisasur or rakatbij ko devi gori durga ne mara tha….or 9 rup parvati ke hai…naaki radha ke hai….pgal bna ke logo ki aastha se khel ho raha hai…pta nhi jo log jante hai sab fir bhi kuch nhi bol rahe hai…please dont missue or misguide public…radha krishan ki alhadini shakti hai prema shakti anandmya shkti jo krishan ke sath golok dham me viraajman hoti or vhi vaikunt me vishnu ke sath laxmi rup me hai…..naaki aadhishkti naa hi unke 9 rup hai…aadhishakti durga gori parvati hai or shiv ki patni hai…jo kailash lok me viraajman hai….agr thodi akal hoto granth utaou pdo or tab serial banou…

  3. One of telesope serialmuskan which is on telecast on air on dated on 22oct2018 onchannel star bharat on time about 10 pm in which they intensnally impeach the Hindus bhagwan colour by using illigal kidnapping in the serial please take appropriate action against the producer and director of musk and serial

  4. I want to file complaint about the TV Show
    BIG BOSS….. which is creating a bad impact on Society.
    I wonder…how so many people are interested to see it.
    May be due to influence of Celebraties who are involved with that.
    With passing time it has come to Season 12.

    Where will we go????
    How much we lose or forget our values??

    Would anyone listen?????

  5. I want to request to stop the serial Silsila badalthe riston ka which is telecasting in colors channel
    The makers always try to encourage extra martial afire is in good way.
    This show spreading negative impact and ruin the minds of all
    One of my friend recently effected badly by this worst concept and totally injustice to the wife who loves her husband much got cheated by him and also her friend.
    Please stop this serial immediately.

  6. Now a new program has started. This serial has heard a string in the buground, this word #haiyaa_allal_falah, which is given in the word, words come in it ajan, then you are requested to please stop it.

  7. Dear sir,
    There is an advertisement in a telugu tv which is very abusing, damaging and degrading about women and girl child. The advertising creates very much in security feeling about to woman and girl child herself. If your authority has not stopped the upcoming serial, the viewers especially women and girl children will face a lot of insult and insecurity which is not proper without stopping on part your controlling authority. Pls take immediate steps to stop this immediately for the concern of viewers.
    If at all your authority is only for doing good protecting and respecting the feelings of the public viewers and not for protecting the commercial cheap business tricks, pls stop the upcoming serial immediately.

  8. I want to complain about the serial SILSILA BADALTE RISHTO KA because it is giving a wrong message to society. It is effecting the mental state of people seeing this serial. Concept of serial is totally non sense plz stop this serial asap

  9. i really want this serial to stop the unappropriate content from the show i am tlaking about the serial Silsila bdalte rishto ka how can you show such nasty relation where a friend is helping pity friend of her who cant stand for herself against her husbnd and on the other hand same friend is in love with her friends husband and friend husbnad is falling in same feeling this un appropreate relation is showing bad impact in society why will any women stnd for her own friend struglling with a bad situation whn her own house and husbnds are being snatching away.. they all are mature enough to have control on emotions and realise what they are for each other how can they just fall in away…. i really want producer need to chnge this stupid concept of his

  10. I not want to complaint about any content of any channel but just I want to ask a question ?……Why our news channels show most of time only political news. There are lots of content to show, but only for TRP they show that kind of news which is really not relevant to normal people life. Our most of channel just show about cricket as a sport. But, not even one channel take personally interest to show about all the sports like cricket. They can show news about football and all the other sports but nobody is interested in it. As FIFA comes near all the channel start to show about football as FIFA gone nobody even remember football and all other games. If media don’t do this then how football and other sports can get motivate. You tube can’t do everything like official media and news channels. News channels just show, what happened in politics. Why why why our news channels not interested in to change our India. If news channel wants then they can help to much to change our India by doing a such good tasks. All time news channel just interested in to show which political party is how much power full in which area , how the progress of any political party. Why media not understand that, normal people like me not interested in this kind of news all the day. If one person has a power to change something and he/she don’t use that power to do something good change then what is the meaning of that power. That’s I want to know. They can show innovative shows , different idea show and lots of.

    Thank you.

  11. Sir
    i have having Dish TV , During normal days we can see DD national channel but during international match timing the same channel is blocked by service provider and urge to pay additional money to see these matches on private channels
    Need intervention

  12. Please dnt telecast some Telugu news Chanel’s (TV9,ABN,TV5,maha TV),very abusing and worst Chanel’s,and public very sufferd to this

  13. TV9 ,TV5, ABN channels are waste channels these channels not maintaining gernolism politics telecasting wrong news pease ban it

  14. I want to complain of various TV channels who are doing just all objectionabls grounds like :
    Broadcasting anything which creates superstition in the minds of the viewers.
    Any content which creates a communal disturbance or promotes violence, it can be in the form of any speech, statement or any video. Also, the content which is against the law and order the country.
    (1) All Indian newschannel selectively targetting Muslim community try to showing all are criminals implementing hidden criminal political agenda in which big riots may happen thousands to lakhs of people may be killed.
    (2) Almost all Indian channels just spreading superstition by way of making twisted mythological contents.
    (3) Sony and Crime Patrol channel are just creating the serial based on muslim criminal trying to spread hatred among non-muslims creating base for riots.
    (4) Last but no least Indian Film Industry in which almost every film the vilian is Muslim or Muslims are being shown as criminal try to spread hatred in Non Muslims again making foundation for riot.

  15. Recent ban on condom ads between 6am to 10pm is a welcome move.
    Similarly, there should be ban on Sanitary Pads as the content is becoming more obscene, wherein the camera focuses on rear and sometimes even zooms-in.
    There are now ads showing school girls looking behind and dancing on songs, this is not necessary.
    Some are now showing fragrance emitting so foul smell doesn’t come and people in public places smell the fragrance.
    WTF, this should tone down or banned completely. Girls / Women know what they need and village women need different type of education, not this.

  16. Recently I came across Voot app advertising on colors tv, in this ad they show a boy in swimming attire near the pool engrossed watching cartoons on a cell phone. This ad delineates such wrong message to young kids, please it’s not ok for kids to use cellphones to watch videos and specially while you are outside in a public swim centre, it is also a major safety hazard. What are we teaching kids ! “Unacceptable “

  17. Savdhaan India is a crime show and it’s running daily for about 6-10 hours on Star Bharat channel.It shows crime scene and it’s investigation but in a brutal way and that cruel things may affect children, adolescents and teenagers.most of all mentality of those become aggressive and they even start thinking killings and in a brutal way torturing someone is “Normal”.This program can also be motivation for some criminals and criminal minded to find out new ways of crimes in a negative manner.So I request you to please shut down,Not only this but also many more crime/investigation genre TV shows,As these may spoil future of those children and vulnerable and humanity as well.These are future of India , getting spoiled by such daily”dose” of crime… Just think about it…

  18. Hi want to file a complain against the bigg boss 11 contestants on colours Tv puneesh sharma and bangadi karla they are such cheap and shameless showing shameless behaviour on TV,bigg boss is a family show keeping such cheap and shameless people on the show is only damaging the value of the show and the efforts of the deserving contestants,please I request colours TV to evict both of them ,they just damaging our ethics and values of indian cinema .

  19. Channel Mtv is totally offensive. Splitsvilla and India’s next top model both shows are offensive.
    Both shows should be banned.
    Both shows leave a bad impact on audience .
    Both shows there is violent language and use of offensive word .

  20. M.D.Koushik is an artist and magician. He behaves like a rude manners against fans and programme conductors. I request to take a proper action against him. This complaint will be auctionable as soon as possible. This is rahul. He scolded using a local languages. M.D. Koushik phone No:080-39627586
    No,2414/64, 10th main, E-Block, Rajajinagar, 2nd stage , Bangalore-560010 Near east -west school.
    Thanking you sir,

  21. Star plus serial ” Mere agne mei ” is the most disgusting and abusive language serial towards women . On the name of so called traditional middle class family , how they can use derogatory comments for any women who gets married for the second time . Can’t a women get marry second time , only males have this right ? They can be shown marrying 100 times and it’s ok , but if a women wants to get marry for second time the abusive words are mandatory to use to derogat her image just because she is wants to get marry again . Disgusting serial ” Mere Agne mei ” I hate these types of cheap things , i just hope soon this serial will go off air .

  22. As soon as possible..Crime Patrol,Savdhaan India..all shows should be banned? What it is actually teach you? How to do crime without any fear of our Law..because it is showing flaws of our laws..i think crime patrol & other show are enough to increase the ratio of crime..only showing negative parts & our mentality is easily adopt the negative points first not positive points..simple person can also do crime if it watching daily basis beacuse it will get new idea by this show to do perfect crime & last nothing happened with criminal..ASAP please banned these types of show.
    Most of the stories are fake & most of the story attractive why because most of the stories have Sex & rape only. After that How easily Crime Patrol, Savdhaan India shows the crime scene means nothing is happen..how easy to kill someone..why we show the negativity of the people..why don’t we show the positivity of peoples instead of negativity & you also encourage the peoples for do some positive work on daily basis…because on daily many peoples doing good job for others, you mainly focus on how to stop these types of crimes specially in India.what action should be taken by us. Please don’t do you business for long time in the form of Crime Patrol serials. . unneccesarily create fear in mind. it is an harmful serial…Please do needful for the Country…otherwise you will definitely kill innocent peoples by this show..because this show encourage killer to do more crime.

    • I totally agree with you…!! Savdhan India n Crime patrol is running on the basis of rapes n filthy dialogues of rapists..!! Extra marital affairs are shown as if its so common…!! You people are giving ideas to commit such disgraceful acts…!!

  23. I want to file a complaint against the television programmes like crime patrol and savdhaan india etc.
    they all are creating extra preventive effect on the minds of our parents
    I am an engineering student, proceeding into my last year..
    the new hostel rules says closing of gates and food stalls at 8..
    so we friends decided to go to the city and live as paying guests
    but my dad..
    he is restricting me just because his mind is affected because of watching such programmes..
    he is not allowing me to go just by saying that, you may not be guilty, but you may suffer due to your friend’s mistake…
    i would be able to earn money by own in upcoming 4 years..
    and such chidish restrictions..
    I request you to please stop such programmes because altough they are doing a great job but indirectly creating a sense of fear and overprotectiveness in the minds of our parents..
    This is the question of my future living..Please..I request

  24. there was one serial i was watching on &tv, BADO BAHU, which started on an OK note but soon became very derogatory to women who have weight issues. The episode showed physical torture of the protagonist Komal who is made to wash clothes & draw water from well with one hand as her other arm is broken. All this torture because she is fat. A young manipulative cousin is shown to be breaking marriage of her cousin brother Lucky by using all conniving & dirty tactics.By showing this they are demeaning a fat girl with a golden heart. Projecting that goodness is stupid & evil always conquers, is setting bad examples in a society which is full of disputes, crime & ugliness. A marriage being broken only because of obesity, implies that good heart has no value. Writer should consider happiness, acceptance & some comedy in the serial which is required more in the current scenario.

  25. Vikatan Televistas-Prodcution House in Chennai Tamilnadu is an established house of values – is the impression what I inherited from my parents and to an extent personally. But their Deivamagal Mega Serial on Sun TV has trashed my belief and respect on you looking at the way it is screenplayed. Disgrace to a learned society and demeaning to women folk across strata.

    The wickedness enacted by the character Gayatri is very disgusting and a threat to Indian womanhood. Whatever be the opinions of modern thinkers claiming equal rights, in this serial and some of your other serials,woman is certainly portrayed as very heinous and without any morals and ethics in her life. I am sure TN women are iconic for good culture and obedience. On contrast your presentation of Gayatri and her sister Vinodini character is disgrace and dangerous to a good society.Is the Directorial team working with senses and sensitivity of society or such culture is prevailing in their own family is what I doubt.

    What is wrong if we have to sue you for carrying such anti-cultural content enacted by next-door-characters and thus spreading the venom in the society.For God sake don’t get into trap of TRP race. Please guide society not ride on their emotions and values to channel’s gain, your disgrace and most importantly the vulnerable relationships in prevailing society.

    If let to continue the serial may damage society more thus leading to a bad precedent to coming generations who actually need a good cultural grooming.

  26. Dear sir
    my self Vinita Singh On dated 16th Feb 2017 evening some people interchange my debit cards at ATM center in Gurgaon . At that time I am not able to find that but when the do the transaction at that time I come to know that my debit card get change .

    Now I have the CCTV footage of that person from where he did the shopping with my card along with all detail. I go to police station but they also refused to write the FIR .

    PL help me because I must sure this is the proper gang who are cheating people with such type of fraud .

    NAME : Vinita
    PHONE NO .09654790266
    09729995121
    Place. Gurgaon

  27. Colors shows have such derogatory content.. they cover everything like child abuse,black magic,violence against women,foul language,reincarnations… 3rd gender is also not spared now…spare us the horror please…

  28. Ji, JAI HIND! I am a Doctor, I dont watch the idiot box because there is nothing GOOD you can learn all you see is that eeach one is plotting against the other!! Occasionally I watch the Sas Bahu aur Betian Serial in Aaj Tak channel @ 2.25pm on my PC Today I was aghast !! They were showing a clipping of Saath Nibhana Saathiya in which one lady’s throat is deliberately slit by a Kite Manja by a wamp* called GORA or whatever! Tomorrow any person, any kid, teenager, will attempt to murder anyone,and no one would ever know police will register a case of accidental death and the Killer would roam Scot-free.* Are we not aware about the number of crimes inspired by TV serials ?.This is too much !! Why depict HINDU FESTIVALS in a Derogatory way?….Do they have the guts to show anything about MUSLIM or CHRISTIAN FESTIVALS/GOD . Enough is Enough…I want this serial Saath Nibhana Sathiya to be Banned..!! And the Producer/ Director behind Bars!! Any serial or movie or news that does not show high Indian Values should be banned and the promoters and sponsors should be shamed/ exposed and fined heavily so that they will think 100 times before promoting/ producing/ directing any serial/ movies in INDIA.

  29. DT. 09.01.17
    Dear Sir

    Many channels are showing ISIS terror live video. Especialy broadcasted by ABP , AAJ tak etc .This type of videos are not proper to shown. You will notice how meaningless and negative they are.

    Kindly ask news channels to not to air this type of video in future.

    thanks

  30. Hello
    this is Deepak from Pune, Maharashtra

    i love to watch BARCLAYS PREMIERE LEAGUE football matches on Star Sports 1,2,3 & 4,
    but i think from 01st December 2016 the all matches is broadcasting just on HD channels,
    i dont have an HD TV at home, so what can i do about that???

  31. there are two TV serials being telecasted on ZEE TV namely 1. KUM KUM BHAGYA and 2. MEHAK, comment on the middle class girls” character that these girls sleep with anybody for their financial/personal benefits. Commenting in general about any class of people is highly objectionable. I don’t understand what the viewers feel when they lesson such comments on these serials. Why can not the authorities stop such serials. It seems common man in India means a cheap community, and any Tom Dick and Harry can give any derogatory remarks about this group. I request the people to wakeup and fight for there status and respect in the Indian society.

  32. Dear Sir

    All serials in Malayam channels are anti social and damaging with negative dialogue. Especialy broadcasted by Asia Net. Some are even abusive and damaging to children. Kindly watch these serials for last 15 days – you will notice how meaningless and negative they are.

    Also none of the channels show voluntary disclosure of IB requirements regarding complaints address and contact Details Tel No: etc… Even if it is displayed it is shown very rarely, is small letters– and only for few seconds – – before one is able to read it it passes over.

    Suggest these IB voluntary requirements showing ” COMPLAINT REGISTRATION ADDRESS” be displayed for over one minute every day several times- especially between 7pm to 12 pm. Channels are deliberately not showing these requirements.

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