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TV advertisements for condoms, ‘love drugs’ look like porn films: Madras High Court orders TV channels not to telecast vulgar ads

While hearing a petition against television channels, the Madras High Court noted that nudity was being served on TV channels which would affect the minds of youngsters and children.

Coming down heavily on Television channels for telecasting obscene and vulgar advertisements on TV, the Madras High Court passed an interim order against the telecast of such content on TV channels. According to Live Law, Bench of Justices N Kirubkaran and B Pugalendhi, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by KS Sagadevaraja, expressed shock over the telecast of obscene advertisements that were being viewed by everyone irrespective of age.

“It is shocking to note that in the television, about 10 p.m., almost all the television channels are telecasting some advertisements, which exhibit obscenity to promote the sale of condoms, which in fact, are being viewed irrespective of the age and absolutely available in all television channels”, the court said.

Nudity would affect the minds of youngsters and children

The court said that some advertisements that appear like promoting aphrodisiac or ‘love drugs’, look like pornographic films. Talking about the late-night advertisements, the order said, “anybody who sees these programmes will be shocked by the pornographic content. Some advertisements though look like promotion “Aphrodisiac” popularly known as ”Love Drugs”, it looks like a porno film.”

In the petition, the petitioner had requested to pass an interim order in the nature of mandamus pending the disposal of the main petition. In its order dated November 11, 2020, the court said that the nudity exhibited in the advertisements was prohibited under section 16 of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995. The court said under the provisions of the Act the programmes telecast should offend the morality, decency and religious susceptibilities of subscribers.

The Court also said that that as per Rule 7(2) (vi), the Cable Operators shall ensure that the portrayal of the female form, in the programmes carried in cable service is tasteful and aesthetic and is within the well-established norms of good taste and decency.

Expressing concern over the content being telecast on Television, the court said that nudity was available on television in the name of doctor’s advice as well as advertisements and that it would affect the minds of youngsters and children. The court said this while referring to the advertisement of condoms and aphrodisiacs, inner wears etc.

In the interim order passed by the court in the “interest of justice”, the court sought an answer from the respondents on the censorship of the programmes telecast on satellite TV channels as contemplated under section 5A of the Cinematograph Act, 1952.

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Petitioner prayed for directions regarding telecast of programmes

The petitioner had prayed before the court to give directions to respondents viz. Secretary, Ministry of Broadcasting (MIB), Secretary, News and Film Technology and Film Law Department, Tamil Nadu, District Collector, Virudhunagar district and the Superintendent of Police, Virudhunagar district, to take effective measures including monitoring, prosecution and pre-censorship, etc. against television channels for telecasting vulgar content.

 

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