Unhappy with the coverage related to hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yaqub Memon by three leading news (ABP News, NDTV 24×7 and Aaj Tak) broadcasters, Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued show-cause notice to them, asking why action should not be taken against them.
Official sources said that it was felt that some parts of the coverage of these news channels were inappropriate following which they have been asked to explain how their coverage does not violate the sections of the Programme Code.
Officials said that sections of the Programme Code lay down that no programme should be carried which contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths.
As per other sections of the Code, no programme should be carried which is likely to encourage or incite violence or contains anything against maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.
Another sections also tells channels not to carry anything which contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and Judiciary.
Officials said that in view of these provisions of the Programme Code, the ministry felt that there was a need to seek explanation from these channels.
A unit under the I&B ministry, Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC), monitors the content of around 600 channels.
Two of the broadcasters to whom notices have been sent had reportedly aired phone-in interviews of underworld figure Chhota Shakeel. Another channel is learnt to have telecast remarks of Memon’s lawyer.
After the channels reply to the show-cause notice, an inter-ministerial committee which is headed by Additional Secretary in the I&B ministry and includes officials from several ministries, will consider the matter.
Memon was hanged in Pune jail on July 30 morning, hours after three Supreme Court judges rejected his appeal to stop his execution in an unprecedented hearing that took place in the middle of the night.
Memon was convicted in 2007 as the driving spirit of the deadly attack in Mumbai in 1993 in which 257 people were killed as bombs exploded back to back at landmarks across the financial capital.