Two leading Hindi news channels have been issued advisories by the Centre asking them to abide by the programming norms after they aired “objectionable” comments of gangster Chhota Shakeel following the hanging of Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued advisories on June 7 to the two channels after an Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) came to the conclusion that the programme aired by the channels violated programming norms.
In separate advisories to the channels, the ministry said the IMC felt that telecast of the interview of Chhota Shakeel, the right hand man of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, not only “cast aspersions on the judicial system but was also likely to offend the sensibilities of certain sections of the society”.
Hence, they should have been more careful while carrying the interview in the context of Yakub Memon hanging case, it said.
Earlier the representatives of one of the channels had told the IMC that they had sincerely tried to bring out the truth and, in their view, the coverage was not overdone nor was Shakeel deified. The channel had said whatever was done was done to inform the public about an important happening.
Representatives of the other channel also told the Committee that during the interview the channel had tried to confront the gangster and made him confess to his wrongdoing and misdeeds.
They claimed no undue importance was given to the interviewee and there was no criticism of the action taken by the government. The channels said the interview was not meant to create a gulf between communities and that there was no law and order problem after its telecast.
Last year, the I&B ministry had issued notices to some leading news broadcasters over their coverage of the Memon hanging episode.