Updated: March 11, 2021 8:27:04 am
Days after an alleged sex video of former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi was beamed across television channels, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant issued a directive, citing a Karnataka High Court order on March 6, prohibiting networks from airing content not in adherence to existing rules.
Any channel airing a programme that ‘offends against good taste or decency’, among other restrictions, can be charged under the Cable Television Networks Rules, the Bengaluru Police chief said in the order issued to all broadcasters on Tuesday.
The order cited Section 19 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, which prohibits “all the broadcasts, which are not strictly in conformity in terms of programming code as defined under Cable Television Network Rules”.
It warned that any violation of the direction would be liable for prosecution.
After the video allegedly showing Jarkiholi and an unidentified young woman was broadcast widely on local television, leading to his resignation, six sitting ministers got temporary injunction against the airing of any defamatory content on them.
A city court on Saturday granted a temporary media gag order in favour of the six ministers after they expressed apprehension of being defamed similarly. The court of the 26th additional civil and sessions judge granted the temporary injunction on media broadcast of any CD or other material that is likely to defame the six ministers. The cabinet members moved court last Friday, naming 68 media and social media outlets, as well as social activist Rajashekhar Mulali as respondents.
The six ministers — Shivaram Hebbar, BC Patil, ST Somashekar, K Sudhakar, KC Narayana Gowda and Byrathi Basavaraj —- were part of a group of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs who quit the erstwhile ruling coalition in 2019 and defected to the BJP, helping it come to power under the leadership of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.
Jarkiholi, who resigned on March 3, was also part of the group of 17 and was considered the most influential among the 12 who were made ministers by Yediyurappa. The six ministers moved court in the wake of the Jarkiholi scandal, saying some media houses have been projecting the existence of 19 CDs featuring MLAs and ministers.
In a joint suit, the ministers said they fear that broadcast of any such defamatory material will not only make voters in their respective constituencies lose confidence in them but also come as an embarrassment to their families.
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