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TDSAT allows I&B Ministry to proceed against Red FM, but orders stay on 7-day ban

03-October-2007
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TDSAT allows I&B Ministry to proceed against Red FM, but orders stay on 7-day ban

Following the show cause notice issued by the I&B Ministry to Red FM, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on October 1 allowed the Ministry to go ahead with its scheduled proceedings against the radio station for an allegedly derogatory remark made by an RJ against ‘Indian Idol’ winner Prashant Tamang.

Red FM had approached the TDSAT against the show cause notice issued by the Ministry on September 29. At present, the TDSAT has issued a stay order on the seven-day ban that the I&B Ministry has imposed on Red FM. This stay is until the next hearing before the TDSAT, which is scheduled for October 4.

“It is ordered that the respondent (I&B Ministry) will be free to proceed with the show cause notice and take whatever decision it feels proper or necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case,” said Justice Arun Kumar, Chairman, TDSAT, while hearing a plea by the radio channel.

Reportedly, the channel’s counsel, Mukul Rohtagi, alleged that in the notice, the Government acted without giving any opportunity to present the channel’s case. He also contended that in the licence agreement, there was no provision that permitted the Government to take action against the channel without a sufficient notice.

The I&B Ministry has issued a show cause notice to Red FM, giving the station time till 4 pm on October 1 to explain why action should not be taken against it.

The notice issued on September 29, 2007, stated, “It has been brought to the notice of the Government by the West Bengal State Government and others that the permission holder of FM radio broadcasting station in the city of Delhi, namely Digital Radio (Delhi) Broadcasting Ltd, in their FM radio channel, Red FM, being aired on 93.5 FM, has carried a programme on September 24, 2007, in which an RJ has made derogatory remarks about the Gorkha community, consequent upon the selection of Prashant Tamang as ‘Indian Idol’ in a Sony Entertainment Television show.”

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