PIL on FM Radio: Government Reply Sought

on 19 October 2017. Posted in ComdevAsia News

July 2017, India: A public interest litigation (PIL) was led by Common Cause seeking the quashing of the unreasonable provisions in the policy guide- lines and grant of permission agreements of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting of Government of India which pro- hibit the broadcast of news and current a airs content on FM and community radio stations.

On January 12, 2017, counsel for Union of India (UOI) sought time to le the counter a davit. On February 14, 2017, the Court observed that the UOI’s counter a davit highlighted the gradual progress of the policy guidelines in this regard. e counter af- davit contended that the revised guidelines permitted com- munity and FM radio stations to broadcast news and current a airs sourced exclusively from the All India Radio, in its original form or translated into a local language/dialect. The Court, however felt that the government should consider extending the content of news and current af- fairs which was already in public domain. The Court granted six weeks to the govt. counsel to obtain instructions. This matter was posted for hearing on April 5, 2017.

Common Cause in 2013 had led a petition seeking the quashing of the provisions of the Policy Guidelines and of the Grant of Permission Agreements framed by the Government which prohibited private FM Radio and Community Radio stations from broadcasting their own news and current a airs programs on the same footing as television and print media.

(Reproduced with permission from Common Cause, http:// www.commoncause.in/)