In a first of its kind case the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has moved a Delhi court against broadcasters seeking their prosecution for carrying advertisements for over 12 minutes in an hour.
Separate complaints have been filed in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidya Prakash seeking summoning and prosecution of the errant broadcasters.
The complaints said the broadcasters have been violating the TRAI regulations which limit the time of advertisement during one hour of programme to 12 minutes.
According to TRAI some of the broadcasters are completely disregarding the regulations. In as much as some they were carrying ads in their channels up to 35 minutes per hour.
It said TRAI had made Standards of Quality of Service (duration of ads in TV channels) Regulations, 2012 in May last year laying down the standard of quality of service to be provided by the service provider with primary objective of striking a balance between giving a consumer a good TV viewing experience and protecting the commercial interests of broadcasters.
As per provision of these regulations no broadcaster shall carry in its broadcast of a programme advertisements exceeding 12 minutes in a clock hour and any shortfall of the ad duration shall not be carried over. A report was also sought from various broadcasters for details of advertisements in all their channels and it was found that they violated the regulation.
The 10+2 ad cap is already a part of the Cable TV Rules 1994 as amended in 2006 and all broadcasters have been blatantly violating then since then.
The regulations have been challenged in TDSAT but have not been stayed, TRAI informed the court.