NEW DELHI: Complaints against various television channels before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate relating to adcap violations by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are now slated to come up for hearing on 2 April.
CMM (Delhi Central) Pooran Chand directed that as the matter was pending in the Delhi High Court, the interim orders would continue.
TRAI had filed complaints before the Magistrate’s Court against IBN Lokmat News, Zee News, TV Today Network, Sun TV Network, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, NDTV Lifestyle Ltd, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Odisha Television Ltd, Celebrities Management P Ltd, Eenadu Television P Ltd, Panorama Television P Ltd, MAA Television Network, Sarthak Entertainment P Ltd, and Prism TV Pvt. Ltd.
According to information available with Indiantelevision.com, some of these cases have been pending since 2013. There have also been some instances wherein executives of various channels have been seeking exemption from personal appearance whenever the cases came up.
In the Delhi High Court TRAI had earlier assured that no coercive action would be taken till the court’s final decision.
However, the Delhi High Court had directed every channel, which was involved in the case before it, to maintain a register of the advertisement time consumed by them.
The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) had challenged the adcap rule, contending that TRAI did not have jurisdiction to regulate commercial airtime on television channels. Apart from the NBA, the petitions were filed by Sarthak Entertainment, Pioneer Channel Factory, E24 Glamour, Sun TV Network, TV Vision, B4U Broadband, 9X Media, Kalaignar, Celebrities Management, Eenadu Television and Raj Television.
Later Home Cable Network, which claims pay channels should not be permitted to carry advertisements, was impleaded. Discovery Communications has also filed for being impleaded and this application is slated to be heard on 29 March.