The Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) submitted a compliance report to the Election Commission (EC) on Friday stating that a notice has been issued to the BJP directing the party to take down all non-certified content from NaMo TV and a dedicated team has been set up to monitor the channel.
The compliance report was submitted a day after the poll watchdog wrote to the Delhi CEO holding that NaMo TV is sponsored by the BJP and that all content on the TV channel should be “removed immediately” as it did not have prior certification.
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A senior official at the Delhi CEO’s office told The Indian Express, “We issued directions to the BJP regarding certification on Thursday night itself and have ordered that content be removed from NaMo TV today. The circular is being complied with. The application for certification of future content is under consideration.”
Asked if the certification of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) would also be required for the biopic web series on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the official said, “We don’t have any idea about that as of now. But if it has political content, it should ideally be certified.”
The EC directions on Thursday had come a day after the BJP admitted that the NaMo App, of which NaMo TV is a part, was run by its IT Cell.
“As NaMo TV/Content TV is sponsored by a political party, all recorded programmes of political contents displayed on the channel/platform would be covered under the purview of the Commission’s order dated April 15, 2004 issued in pursuance of the Order dated April 13, 2004 of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Vs. M/s Gemini TV (2004) 5 SCC 714. Accordingly, all political advertisements and all recorded programmes with political contents are mandatorily required to be pre-certified by the MCMC before telecasting/displaying,” the EC had stated in it order to Delhi CEO on Thursday.
The EC’s April 15, 2004, order requires that applications for certification of ads by political parties headquartered in Delhi be made to the MCMC at least three days before the ad is to be telecast. The applications must also include the cost of production, the cost of telecast and whether the ad is for the benefit of the political party or candidate.
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