Entertainment channel Comedy Central will have to go off air from 12.01 am on 26 November for six days after the Delhi high court upheld a ban imposed on it for broadcasting offensive content.
Finding Viacom 18 had “abused the faith reposed in it under the self-regulatory regime” in the broadcasting industry, a bench of chief justice G. Rohini and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw upheld the 10-day ban on Viacom 18’s Comedy Central channel in May last year. Viacom had approached the high court before the ban came into force but a single judge decided that the ban was rightly imposed.
The Supreme Court on 24 November did not allow early hearing of an appeal filed by the channel. The court also refused to stay the case in the interim till the special leave petition comes up for hearing.
Upholding the ban imposed by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) on 17 May 2013, the bench noted that it had gone through the allegedly offensive content and found “that the punishment meted out is proportionate to the violations and justly meets the collective cry of the society” and proceeded to impose costs of Rs.20,000 on the company.
MIB had imposed the ban for telecast of two shows in the months of May and July 2012. The first was Stand up Club which according to the government “was not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children as the same depicted women as a commodity of sex and appeared to deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality and morals”.