M A I N   N E W S

Stop unfair TV ads, EC tells Ministry
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 27
Taking serious note of various complaints about surrogate and unfair advertisements in television channels, the Election Commission today directed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to take “appropriate action” against advertisements that are “slanderous in nature” and violative of the advertisement code.

“The Commission has directed the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to take appropriate action under the Cable TV Network rules where there are adequate provisions to prevent any advertisements from being aired which are violative of the code”, EC spokesman A N Jha told newspersons here.

The Election Commission has given time till March 29 (5 p.m) to Information and Broadcasting Ministry to submit the action taken report in this regard, Mr Jha said.

In reply to a spate of questions whether the commission’s directive amounted to a prohibition on such ads, he read out relevant portions of the Cable TV Network rules which gives power to the government to “regulate” and “prohibit” offensive ads.

Asked why the EC was not taking or suggesting direct action against the violators, Mr Jha said “there is an appropriate body, which has adequate powers to take action.”

The commission’s decision comes in the wake of the Congress’ complaint to it about a “slanderous” advertisement on some TV channels raising Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin issue.

There were also complaints about advertisements being aired by certain channels in Tamil Nadu which were also being referred to the Ministry for appropriate action.

“Thare is an advertisement code and the Information Ministry is the competent authority to take appropriate measures on advertisement which come within the purview of the advertisement code”, he said.

Observing that Chief Election Commissioner T S Krishna Murthy had already asked the political parties not to indulge in personal attacks during electioneering, Mr Jha said the Commission had decided to take up this issue during the all-party meeting on April 6.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission today intervened and stopped the free Air India junket for politicians and journalists to London from Ahmedabad planned by it on the ground it contravened the Model Code of Conduct.

“The Commission has directed the Civil Aviation Ministry and Air India not to issue free passes to any category of persons when the Model Code of Conduct was in force”, Mr Jha said.

The Commission’s directive came a day ahead of the AI’s inaugural flight from Ahmedabad to London in which the airline was proposing to carry politicians and journalists.

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |