The Supreme Court said on Monday it will issue guidelines to strengthen self-regulation of TV channels, Bar and Bench reported. The court critiqued the ineffectiveness of self-regulatory mechanism by the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBA) and asked if a fine of Rs one lakh for a channel is really effective.
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea challenging the Bombay High Court order which held that the News Broadcaster Association has no sanctity in statutory framework.
The court issued a notice on the plea by the NBA and also sought suggestions on the present penalty which is imposed on news channels for violation of NBA guidelines, as per Bar and Bench.
The Supreme Court raised questions on self-regulation by the media and held that the maximum fine of Rs one lakh under the “NBA guidelines is no deterrent”.
“Your fine must be of proportion to profits you make from that show,” the Supreme Court observed, adding that, “We are concerned about the freedom of press, but some channels do take liberties with public reputations.”
“No TV Channel will be deterred with a fine of Rs one lakh on errant channels. No TV channel will have motivation to comply with your self regulatory code,” said the Supreme Court.
The court suggested that the fine should be based on percentage of profits. “There has to be a ‘bite’ to your regulations,” it said. “Self-regulatory mechanism has to be made effective,” the court added.
“We must be circumspect about the government regulation of media…We don’t want to impose a pre-censorship or post-censorship on media. But the self-regulatory mechanism has to be effective,” the Supreme Court said. CNBC TV18