Delhi High Court today stayed a government order directing Colors TV to run a scroll apologising for the content shown on the show ‘Fear Factor: Khatron ke Khiladi’, saying the Centre’s view that the programme was not in good taste was “subjective”.
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry had on January eight directed Colors TV, part of the Viacom 18 Media Ltd family, to run a scroll apologising for its content while airing the show on January 15, which was challenged by the channel.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher issued notice to the ministry and sought its reply by April 16 on Viacom 18’s plea challenging the order of the government which had held that the content was against “good taste and decency”.
The court asked whether “good taste and decency” have been defined in the guidelines and said the view taken by the government was “subjective”.
“How is good taste and decency defined in the guidelines? It has not been. This is so subjective…,” it said.
It also observed that other channels like AXN have similar programmes and they are being downlinked here. “I think the matter needs consideration,” the judge said.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the ministry, said, if required, action will be taken against other channels as well.
He also said the government has taken a lenient view as it had only asked that an apology be run along with the show only on January 15, as it could have stopped broadcast of the programme.
On the other hand, the channel contended that no complaint has been received against the show. It also said that the fifth season of the programme ended in May 2014 and the next season is expected to be aired in March this year.