Comedy Central will go off air today on November 26 from 12:01 am for the next six days on the judgment of the Delhi High Court after it upheld Ministry of Information and Broadcast (MIB) ban for the broadcasting of offensive content. Viacom18 had earlier appealed the order and it was this order which was pronounced on Monday by the high court.
The decision for the 10-day ban, (four days of which had already been carried out by the channel), came after the MIB had objected to the content on two shows namely Stand Up Club and gag show Popcorn. The bench consisting of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Rajiv Sahai upheld the 10-day ban on Comedy Central in May last year. The bench has said that the network had abused the faith reposed in it under the self-regulatory regime. It was appealed by the network but however it did not affect the decision that came out recently.
The MIB had imposed the ban on the two shows for May to June 2012. The reason for the ban stated for the show Stand Up Club was “mouthing vulgar words accompanied by obscene and suggestive gestures and gyration”. It further said that there was a man “uttering dialogues denigrating women” and further said that “the portrayal appeared to deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality and values”. Whereas, regarding Popcorn the MIB ban was imposed stating that “the programme appeared vulgar, obscene and against good taste. The programme also did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children.”
When asked about extent of damage the channel would suffer and regarding their plans to appeal for a reduction of the days of the black-out for the channel a Viacom 18 company spokesperson said, “The matter is subjudice. Having said that, we are evaluating all available options to us.”