Acts relating to media and communication India
The journalism and Mass communication students of Apeejay Stya university are required to have some knowledge of all the relevant Acts that govern broadcasting, and telecommunication. The following will give them an idea of the Prasar Bharati Act of 1990, Cable regulations act of 1995, The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority TRAI Act, Press council Act as well as Indian Cinematography Act. What I have done is just get the acts in their orginal form and used my own judgement to edit and give them the salient aspects which I deem fit. For futher particulars, one could always go and refer the acts and also their subsequent amendments. These are issued by the Government and will have full of government and legal terms. I tried to eliminate such complicated words.
*Prasar Bharati Act 1990
*Cable Television Act
*Press council Act
The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990
Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Establishment and composition of Corporation. The headquarters of the Corporation shall be at New Delhi and the Corporation may establish offices, kendras or stations at other places in India and, with the previous approval of the Central Government, outside India.
The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the Corporation shall vest in the Prasar Bharati Board which may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things as may be exercised or done by the Corporation under this Act.
The Board shall consist of :-
- a Chairman;
- one Executive Member;
- one Member (Finance);
- one Member (Personnel);
- six Part-time Members;
- Director-General (Akashvani), ex-officio;
- Director-General (Doordarshan), ex-officio;
- one representative of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to be nominated by that Ministry; and
- two representatives of the employees of the Corporation, of whom one shall be elected by the engineering staff from amongst themselves and one shall be elected by the other employee from amongst themselves.
The Corporation may appoint such committees as may be necessary for the efficient performance, exercise and discharge of its functions, powers and duties:
Appointment of Chairman and other Members
The Chairman and the other Members, except the ex-officio Members, the Nominated Member and the elected Members shall be appointed by the President of India on the recommendation of a committee consisting of – a. the Chairman of the Council of States, (vice president of India) who shall be the Chairman of the Committee; b. the Chairman of the Press Council of India established under section 4 of the Press Council Act, 1978; and c. one nominee of the President of India.
Powers and functions of Executive Member
The Executive Member shall be the Chief Executive of the Corporation and shall, subject to the control and supervision of the Board, exercise such power and discharge such functions of the Board as it may delegate to him. Term of office, conditions of service, etc, of Chairman and other Members. (1) The Chairman shall be Part-time Member and shall hold office for a term of six years from the date on which he enters upon his office.
Removal and Suspension of Chairman and Members. Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the Chairman or any other Member, except an ex-officio Member, the Nominated Member and an elected Member shall only be removed from his office by order of the President of India on the ground of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court, on a reference being made to it by the President, has, on inquiry held in accordance with such procedure as the Supreme Court may by rules provide, reported that the Chairman or such other member, as the case may be, ought, on such ground, be removed.
Meetings of Board The Board shall meet at such times and places and shall observe such rules of procedure in regard to the transaction of business at its meetings (including the quorum at meetings) as may be provided by regulations: Provided that there shall not be less than six meetings every year but three months shall not intervene between one meeting and the next meeting. .
Officers and other employees of Corporation. ( Subject to such control, restrictions and conditions as may be prescribed, the Corporation may appoint, after consultation with the Recruitment Board, the Director-General (Akashvani), the Director-General (Doordarshan) and such other officers and other employees as may be necessary. Establishment of Recruitment Boards. (1) The Corporation shall, as soon as may be, after the appointed day and in such manner and subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, establish for the purposes of section 9, one or more Recruitment Boards consisting wholly of persons other than the Members, officers and other employees of the Corporation: Functions and Powers of Corporation. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the primary duty of the Corporation to organise and conduct public broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the public and to ensure a balanced development of broadcasting on radio and television. Explanation --- For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the provisions of this section shall be in addition to, and not in derogation, of the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. (2) The Corporation shall, in the discharge of its functions, be guided by the following objectives, namely:- (a) upholding the unity and integrity of the country and the values enshrined in the Constitution; (b) safeguarding the citizen’s right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced flow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own; (c) paying special attention to the fields of education and spread of literacy, agriculture, rural development, environment, health and family welfare and science and technology; (d) providing adequate coverage to the diverse cultures and languages of the various regions of the country by broadcasting appropriate programmes; (e) providing adequate coverage to sports and games so as to encourage healthy competition and the spirit of sportsmanship; (f) providing appropriate programmes keeping in view the special needs of the youth; (g) informing and stimulating the national consciousness in regard to the status and problems of women and paying special attention to the upliftment of women; (h) promoting social justice and combating exploitation, inequality and such evils as untouchability and advancing the welfare of the weaker sections of the society; (i) safeguarding the rights of the working classes and advancing their welfare; (j) serving the rural and weaker sections of the people and those residing in border regions, backward or remote areas; (k) providing suitable programmes keeping in view the special needs of the minorities and tribal communities; (l) taking special steps to protect the interests of children, the blind, the aged, the handicapped and other vulnerable sections of the people; (m) promoting national integration by broadcasting in a manner that facilitates communication in the languages in India; and facilitating the distribution of regional broadcasting services in every State in the languages of that State; (n) providing comprehensive broadcast coverage through the choice of appropriate technology and the best utilisation of the broadcast frequencies available and ensuring high quality reception; (o) promoting research and development activities in order to ensure that radio and television broadcast technology are constantly updated; and (p) expanding broadcasting facilities by establishing additional channels of transmission at various levels. (3) in particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions, the Corporation may take such steps as it thinks fit ------ (a) to ensure that broadcasting is conducted as a public service to provide and produce programmes; Parliamentary Committee. (1) There shall be constituted a Committee consisting of twenty-two Members of Parliament, of whom fifteen from the House of the People to be elected by the Members thereof and seven from the Council of States to be elected by the Members thereof in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote, to oversee that the Corporation discharges its functions in accordance with the provision of this Act and, in particular, the objectives set out in section 12 and submit a report thereon to Parliament. (2) The committee shall function in accordance with such rules as may be made by the Speaker of the House of the People. Establishment of Broadcasting Council, term of office and removal, etc., of members thereof. (1) There shall be established, by notification, as soon as may be after the appointed day, a Council, to be known as the Broadcasting Council, to receive and consider complaints and to advise the Corporation in the discharge of its functions in accordance with the objectives set out .
(Note: The Recuritment board is not yet formed. The Broadcasting council has not yet been established – In fact Prasar Bharati is going for fresh recruitment after a gap of two decades in 2013. sreedher)
THE CABLE TELEVISION NETWORKS (REGULATION) ACT, 1995
Cable Television had grown in an haphazard manner in the 1990’s. . The programmes which were telecast was mostly film based or foreign orgin. There was no law to curb their existence or growth. There was a lot of hue and cry and the government of the day decided to regulate the operation of cable television networks. On 29th September, 1994 an Ordinance titled the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Ordinance, 1994 was promulgated by the President to provide for the regulation of the operation of cable television networks in the country.The Ordinance was re-promulgated by the President on 17th January, 1995. And later a bill was introduced in the Parliament which became the act in 1995.
REGULATION OF CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK
Cable television network not to be operated except after registration.- No person shall operate a cable television network unless he is registered as a cable operator under this Act :
REGISTRATION AS CABLE OPERATOR.-(1) Any person who is operating or is desirous of operating a cable television network may apply for registration as a cable operator to the registering authority.
An application for registration as a cable operator has to be made in Form-1 accompanied by a fees of Rupees Fifty Only (Indian Postal Order only) to the Head Post Master of a Head Post Office of the area within whose territorial jurisdiction the office of the cable operator is situated.
(ii) Registration shall be valid for 12 months and so renewable. The provisions of rule 3 of the Cable Television Networks rules, 1994 shall apply mutatis mutandis to an application for renewal of the registration.
(iii) The registering authority (Head Post Master) concerned.-
(a) shall register the applicant as a cable operator and grant to him a certificate of registration in Form 3;
Programme Code. -No person shall transmit or re-transmit through a cable service any programme unless such programme is in conformity with the prescribed programme code :
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the programmes of foreign satellite channels which can be received without the use of any specialised gadgets or decoder.
Advertisement Code.- No person shall transmit or re-transmit through a cable service any advertisement unless such advertisement is in conformity with the prescribed advertisement code:
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the programmes of foreign satellite channels which can be received without the use of any specialised gadgets or decoder.
Maintenance of register.- Every cable operator shall maintain a register in the prescribed from indicating therein in brief the programmes transmitted or re-transmitted through the cable service during a month and such register shall be maintained by the cable operator for a period of one year after the actual transmission or re-transmission of the said programmes.
Compulsory transmission of two Doordarshan channels.-
- Every cable operator using a dish antenna or Television Receiver only shall, from the commencement of this Act, re-transmit at least two Doordarshan channels of his choice through the cable service.
* The Doordarshan channels referred to in sub-section (1) shall be re-transmitted without any deletion or alteration of any programme transmitted on such channels.
Use of standard equipment in cable television network -No cable operator shall, on and from the date of the expiry of a period of three years from the date of the establishment and publication of the Indian Standard by the Bureau of Indian Standards in accordance with the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 (63 of 1986), use any equipment in his cable television network unless such equipment conforms to the said Indian Standard.
*Cable television network not to interfere with any telecommunication system.- Every cable operator shall ensure that the cable television network being operated by him does not interfere, in any way, with the functioning of the authorised telecommunication systems
Telecomm Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI ) ACT
Powers and Functions of the Authority:
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 the functions of the Authority shall be to-
* recommend the need and timing for introduction of new service provider;
* recommend the terms and conditions of license to a service provider;
* ensure technical compatibility and effective inter-connection between different service providers;
* regulate arrangement amongst service providers of sharing their revenue derived from providing telecommunication services;
*. ensure compliance of terms and conditions of license;
*recommend revocation of license for non-compliance of terms and conditions of license;
* laydown and ensure the time period for providing local and long distance circuits of telecommunication between different service providers;
* facilitate competition and promote efficiency in the operation of telecommunication services so as to facilitate growth in such services;
* protect the interest of the consumers of telecommunication service;
* monitor the quality of service and conduct the periodical survey of such provided by the service providers;
- . inspect the equipment used in the network and recommend the type of equipment to be used by the service providers;
* maintain register of interconnect agreements and of all such other matters as may be provided in the regulations;
- . keep register maintained under clause (l) open for inspection to any member of public on payment of such fee and compliance of such other requirements as may be provided in the regulations;
*. settle disputes between service providers;
*. render advice to the Central Government in the matters relating to the development of telecommunication technology and any other matter reliable to telecommunication industry in general;
*. levy fees and other charges at such rates and in respect of such services as may be determined by regulations;
*. ensure effective compliance of universal service obligations;
*. perform such other functions including such administrative and financial functions as may be entrusted to it by the Central Government or as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. 13 of 1885
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Authority may, from time to time, by order, notify in the Official Gazette the rates at which the telecommunication services within India and outside India shall be provided under this Act including the rates at which messages shall be transmitted to any country outside India;
Provided that the Authority may notify different rates for different persons or class of persons for similar telecommunication services and where different rates are fixed as aforesaid the Authority shall record the reasons therefor.
The Cinematograph Act, 1952
This Act may be called the Cinematograph Act, 1952.
. Definitions - In this Act, unless the context other wise requires,-(a) "Adult" means a person who has completed his eighteenth year
(b)"Board" means the Board of Film Certification constituted by the Central Government under Section 3]
(c) "Cinematograph" includes any apparatus for the representation of moving pictures or series of pictures,
(d) "District magistrate" in relation to presidency town, means the commissioner of police.
Board of Film Censors - (1) For the purpose of sanctioning films for public exhibition, the Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, constitute a Board to be called the [Board of Film Certification (which shall consist of a Chairman and not less than twelve and not more than twenty five] other members appointed by the Central Government.
Examination of films - (1) Any person desiring to exhibit any film shall in the
prescribed manner make an application to the Board for a certificate in respect thereof, and the Board may, after examining or having the film examined in the prescribed manner-
(i) Sanction the film for unrestricted public exhibition Provided that, having regard to any material in the film, if the Board is of the opinion that it is necessary to caution that the question as to whether any child below the age of twelve years may be allowed to see such a film should be considered by the parents or guardian of such child, the Board may sanction the film for unrestricted public exhibition with an endorsement to that effect or;];
(ii) Sanction the film for public exhibition restricted to adults, or
(iia) sanction the film for public exhibition restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, having regard to the nature, content and theme of the film; or;];
(iii) direct the applicant to carry out such excisions or modifications in the film as it thinks necessary before sanctioning the film for public exhibition under any of the foregoing clauses; or]
(iv) Refuse to sanction the film for public exhibition.
(2) No action under shall be taken by the Board except after giving an opportunity to the applicant for representing his views in the matter.
Certification of films. –examining a film or having it examined in the prescribed manner, the Board considers that –
(a) The film is suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, or, as the case may be, for unrestricted
public exhibition with an endorsement of the nature mentioned in the proviso to clause (I) of subsection (1) of Section 4, it shall grant to the person applying for a certificate in respect of the film a
"U" certificate or, as the case may be, a "UA" certificate ; or(b) The film is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition, but is suitable for public exhibition
restricted to adults or, as the case may be, is suitable for public exhibition restricted to members of any profession or any class of persons, it shall grant to the person applying for a certificate in respect of the film an "A" certificate or, as the case may be, a "S" certificate ;and cause the film to be so marked in the prescribed manner :
(3) Subject to the other provisions contained in this Act, a certificate granted by the Board under this Section shall be valid throughout India for a period of ten years.
Censorship in India has full justification in the field of the exhibition of cinema films. It is in the interest of society. The censorship of films including prior restraint is justified under the Constitution. It has almost universally recognised that the treatment of motion pictures must be different from that of other forms of art and expression. Therefore classification of films into categories of "U" films "A" films is a reasonable classification.It is not elements of rape, leprosy, sexual immorality which should attract the censor's scissors but how the theme is handled by the producer.
5-C. Appeals. – (1) Any person applying for a certificate in respect of a film who is aggrieved by any order of the Board -
# Refusing to grant a certificate ; or
# Granting only an "A" certificate ; or
# Granting only a "S" certificate ; or
# Granting only a "UA" certificate ; or(e) Directing the applicant to carry out any excisions or modifications, may, within thirty days from the date of such order, prefer an appeal to the Tribunal :
The Tribunal may, after making such inquiry into the matter as it considers necessary, and after giving the appellant and the Board an opportunity of being heard in the matter, make such order in relation to a film as it thinks fit and the Board shall dispose of the matter in conformity with such order.
Review of orders by Central Government. – (1) Where an applicant for a certificate or any other person to whom the rights in the film have passed, is aggrieved by any order of the Central Government under Section 5-E, he may, within sixty days of the date of publication of the notification in the Official Gazette, make an application to the Central Government for review of the order, setting out in such application the grounds on which he considers such review to be necessary :
On receipt of the application under sub-section (1), the Central Government may, after giving the aggrieved person a reasonable opportunity of being heard, and after making such further inquiry, as it may consider necessary, pass such order as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or reversing its decision and the Board shall dispose of the matter in conformity with such order.
Revisional powers of the Central Government - (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Part, the Central Government may, of its own motion, at any stage] call for the record of any proceeding in relation to any film which is pending before, or has been decided by the Board or, as the case may be, decided by the Tribunal (but not including any proceeding in respect of any matter which is pending before the Tribunal)] and after such inquiry into the matter as it considers necessary, make such order in relation thereto as it thinks fit, and the Board shall dispose of the matter in conformity with such order
Press Council Act 1978
An Act to establish a Press Council for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the Press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.
This Act may be called the Press Council Act 1978; (2) It extends to the whole of India.
# With-effect from such date as the Central Government, may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, there shall be established a council by the name of the Press Council of India.
- The said Council shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
Composition of the Council
- The Council shall consist of a Chairman and twenty-eight other members.
- The Chairman shall be a person nominated by a Committee consisting of the Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), the Speaker of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and a person elected by the members of the Council under sub-section (6) and the nominations so made shall take effect from the date on which it is notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette.
(3) Of the other members-
(a) thirteen shall be nominated in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed from among the working journalists of whom six shall be editors of newspapers and the remaining seven shall be working journalists other than editors, so, however, that the number of such editors and working journalists other than editors in relation to newspapers published in Indian languages shall be not less than three and four respectively;
(b) six shall be nominated in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed from among persons who own or carry on the business of management of newspapers, so, however, that there shall be two representatives from each of the categories of big newspapers, medium newspapers and small newspapers;
(c) One shall be nominated in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed from among persons who manage news agencies;
(d) three shall be persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of education and science, law and literature and culture of whom respectively one shall be nominated by the University Grants Commission, one by the Bar Council of India and one by the Sahitya Academy;
(e) five shall be members of Parliament of whom three shall be nominated by the Speaker from among the members of the House of the People (Lok Sabha) and two shall be nominated by the Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) from among its members;
Provided that no working journalist who owns, or carries on the business of management of, any newspaper shall be eligible for nomination under clause (a);
*Explanation: "For the purpose of clause (b), a 'newspaper' shall be deemed to be categorised as big medium or small newspaper on the basis of its circulation per issue, as the Central Government, may, by notification in the official gazette, notify from time to time.
Chairman and other members shall hold office for a period of three years:
Objects and functions of the Council
1 ) The objects of the Council shall be to preserve the freedom of the Press and to maintain and improve the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.
(2) The Council may, in furtherance of its objects, perform the following functions, namely :
(a) to help newspapers and news agencies to maintain their independence;
(b) to build up a code of conduct for newspapers, news agencies and journalists in accordance with high professional standards;
(c) to ensure on the part of newspapers, news agencies and journalists, the maintenance of high standards of public taste and foster a due sense of both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship;
(d) to encourage the growth of a sense of responsibility and public service among all those engaged in the profession of journalism;
(e) to keep under review any development likely to restrict the supply and dissemination of news of public interest and importance;
(f) to keep under review cases of assistance received by any newspaper or news agency in India from any foreign source including such cases as are referred to it by the Central Government or are brought to its notice by an individual, association of persons or any other organisation.
Provided that nothing in this clause shall preclude the Central Government from dealing with any case of assistance received by a newspaper or news agency in India from any foreign source in any other manner it thinks fit;
(h) To promote a proper functional relationship among all classes of persons engaged in the production or publication of newspapers or in news agencies.
(i) to concern itself with developments such as concentration of or other aspects of ownership of newspapers and news agencies which may affect the independence of the Press;
(j) to undertake such studies as may be entrusted to the Council and to express its opinion in regard to any matter referred to it by the Central Government;
(k) to do such other acts as may be incidental or conducive to the discharge of the above functions.
Power to Censure
Where, on receipt of a complaint made to it or otherwise, the Council has reason to believe that a newspaper or news agency has offended against the standards of journalistic ethics or public taste or that an editor or working journalist has committed any professional misconduct, the Council may, after giving the newspaper, or news agency, the editor or journalist concerned an opportunity of being heard, hold an inquiry in such manner as may be provided by regulations made under this Act and, if it is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, the news agency, the editor or the journalist or disapprove the conduct of the editor or the journalist, as the case may be :
(2) If the Council is of the opinion that it is necessary or expedient in public interest so to do, it may require any newspaper to publish therein in such manner as the Council thinks fit, any particulars relating to any inquiry under this section against a newspaper or news agency, an editor or a journalist working therein, including the name of such newspaper, news agency, editor or journalist.