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  • Writer's pictureThe Hindu

TV, films under IT rules. I&B Ministry’s move to bring TV and films-related regulations at par with the new IT rules

Amendments in the Cable TV Network Rules giving statutory recognition to self-regulatory bodies notified

This news report was authored by Meenakshi Verma Ambwani and featured in The Hindu on 21 June 2021. It features opinion from AnantLaw.


The Information & Broadcasting Ministry’s recent steps to bring in proposed amendments in the Cinematograph Act as well as modify the Cable TV Network Rules, are being seen by legal experts as a move to bring these regulation at par with the new IT Rules that have been notified for OTT and digital news sectors.

The Ministry has sought comments from stakeholders on draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which aims to introduce age-based classification for film certification and stricter measures to curb piracy including jail term. It has also proposed provisions that will empower the Central government to direct Central Board of Film Certification to re-examine the certification of a film.

For age-based classification, the Ministry has proposed the “Unrestricted Public Exhibition” certification category (known as UA) to be further sub-divided into age-based categories such U/A 7+, U/A 13+ and U/A 16+. This will be in addition to the existing certification categories of “U” and “A”.

Rahul Goel, Partner at AnantLaw added, “In 2019, the I&B Ministry proposed amendments to the Cinematograph Act to curb piracy affecting the media and entertainment industry. Owing to critical suggestions made by the Standing Committee on Information Technology (in 2020), the revised bill has been released for public comments. The Cinematograph Bill 2021 primarily addresses measures to curb piracy of films in India vide imposition of severe punishment including imprisonment of up to 3 years.”

Last week, the Ministry also notified amendments in the Cable TV Network Rules giving statutory recognition to self-regulatory bodies. “Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules 2021 replicates the three-tier grievance redressal mechanism for digital media as recently introduced under the IT Rules 2021. The Amendment provides for similar levels of self-regulation, a self-regulatory body, and an oversight mechanism of an inter-departmental committee,” Banerjee of Khaitan & Co pointed out.

Sources said self-regulatory bodies such as Broadcasting Content Complaint Council and News Broadcasting Standards Authority will now need to register with the I&B Ministry to gain statutory recognition.

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