Comedy Central asked to switch off signals for 6 days

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | November 25, 2014
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Starting 12.01 am on November 26, Comedy Central to go blank for six days following a Delhi HC order. The channel has been punished for airing inappropriate content in 2012.

Comedy Central, the comedy entertainment channel from the Viacom18 stable, has been asked by the Delhi High Court to go off-air. Starting 12.01 am on November 26, the channel has been ordered to switch off signals for six days.

Comedy Central

The verdict from the Delhi HC has come as a punishment for the channel which has been found guilty of airing inappropriate content.

The channel was under the scanner for airing two shows - 'Stand Up Club' and 'Popcorn' in 2012. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had banned the shows and now the HC has upheld the ban, ordering the channel to switch off signals for six days.

As mentioned in MIB's earlier order, "Stand Up Club carried obscene dialogues and vulgar words derogatory to women and hence appeared to offend good taste and decency. The portrayal in the programme did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children. Whereas, the programme showed a man performing an act of stand up comedy and mouthing vulgar words accompanied by obscene and suggestive gestures and gyration. During his performance, the man was shown uttering dialogues denigrating women, indecently and crudely referred to sex organs of men-and omen and the sing-song rendition by the man sought to pornographically describe the male lust, depicting women as a commodify of sex. The portrayal appeared to deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality or morals."

The Ministry had issued Show Cause Notice (SCN) in June 2012 to Comedy Central for telecast of the said programmes which appeared to violate the following provisions of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

According to the MIB, Popcorn was aired in July 2012 and appeared vulgur, obscene and against good taste. It did not appear suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children.

In Popcorn, some members of the programme crew were shown playing pranks in public. They performed some strange and absurd acts that surprised the common people/passerby, who were completely unaware of the hidden camera capturing the whole scene.

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