Holding the telecast of a sting operation implicating a school teacher in a sex racket defamatory and contained suggestive innuendos and half-truths, the government on Thursday banned Live India news channel for one month.
Transmission and re-transmission of 'Live India' (the new name for Janmat TV) will remain banned from Thursday on all platforms throughout the country till October 20.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry invoked Subsection 2(iv) of Section 20 of Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, which says the government can ban a channel in the interest of "public order, decency or morality".
According to an official statement here the government took action on "the satellite channel namely 'Janmat' (assumed name Live India)" which telecast an "admittedly doctored" sting operation on Uma Khurana, a Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya teacher, in Darya Ganj.
"The telecast of said sting operation was defamatory, deliberate, false and contained suggestive innuendos and half-truths, incited violence and contained content against maintenance of law and order," the statement said.
"It criticised, maligned and slandered an individual in person and it denigrated children and was irresponsibly aired by the channel without exercise of due diligence in preliminary verification of the facts of the case," it said.
I&B minister P R Dasmunsi on Wednesday hinted stern action against the channel.
"When sting operations are done in pubic interest... exposing the cash-for-question scam, Parliament expels the MPs."
"But when sting operation is done by a channel to create sensation or increase TRP, how its fate can be separated from those of MPs," Dasmunsi said.
The channel was issued show cause notice on the charge of violation of programme and advertising code prescribed under the Cable Television Network Act.
The "expose" by the channel had depicted Khurana in a sex racket involving students that led to a mob fury and rioting.
But the "expose" fell apart as evidence surfaced showing that the teacher might have been framed by the channel's reporter Prakash Singh, his accomplice Rashmi Singh and her friend Virender Arora.
The Programme Code in the Act is binding on the broadcasters as per uplinking and downlinking guidelines.
As per the Act, the punishment for violation of the code for the first time may lead to suspension of broadcast for one month, for second time three months and for third time the license may be revoked.The channel also faces another show cause notice for changing its name to 'Live India' without getting clearance from the I&B ministry.