Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) on 27th March has sent an advisory to Colors’ most popular, and possibly the most controversial, show ‘Bigg Boss’, which concluded its seventh season in December last year.
The ministry advised Colors channel to adhere to the Programme and Advertising Codes and to be careful with regard to content to be telecast on the channel. Any violation shall entail such action against Colors channel as deemed fit in accordance with the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Rules framed there under as also the terms and conditions of the permission/approval granted under uplinking/downlinking guidelines,” the ministry said.
Interestingly, in an earlier order dated 24 September, the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir had directed that the MIB should assess the theme, subject matter treatment and audio visual depiction of ‘Bigg Boss 7’ through the mechanism in place in the ministry, if any, or otherwise having regard to the episode telecast so far on the channel and on the basis of such assessment to take the view whether the programme was in conformity with the prescribed programme code or not and whether the programme deserved primetime telecast on not.
The HC further added that in case the programme was not in conformity with the prescribed programme code or/and the programme did not deserve primetime telecast, the ministry should issue order as required under section 20(3) of the Act or order for shifting of its time slot to 11 pm onwards as the case may be. In the advisory, the ministry said that prima facie it appeared that certain episodes of the show offended good taste and decency, the participants in the show used abusive and vulgar words with sexual overtones, the content also denigrated women, the programme even contained some potentially horrific and hazardous visuals which could be imitated by impressionable minds of children, and it was not suitable for children and for unrestricted public exhibition.
Hence, MIB on 8th October, 2013 issued an SCN to Colors under Rule 6 (1) (a), (d), (k), (o) & Rule 6(5) of the Programme Code contained in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, which appeared to have been violated by the channel.