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Rakul Preet Singh content: Delhi High Court defers TV Today Network plea against I&B Ministry order

The petition has arisen out of NCB Mumbai’s investigation, where Rakul Preet Singh was summoned for questioning and as a result certain broadcasts were made by 'Aaj Tak'.

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday deferred a petition by TV Today News Network seeking the quashing of the order dated July 26 passed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, whereby Aaj Tak was given a warning for its content relating to Rakul Preet Singh for being violative of Rule 6(1)(i) of Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli listed the matter for further hearing on November 25 upon the submission of proxy counsel that the counsel for petitioner was in another court.

The petition has arisen out of NCB Mumbai’s investigation where Rakul Preet Singh was summoned for questioning and as a result certain broadcasts were made by Aaj Tak. 

Subsequently, the actor approached the Delhi High Court to take down defamatory programs being run by media. The Court had directed that the authorities should consider the Writ Petition as a representation and proceed in terms of appropriate Acts and guidelines. In pursuance thereof, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting formed an Inter­ Ministerial Committee (IMC).

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According to the petition, Rakul Preet Singh in her representation made before News Broadcasting Standards Authority had mentioned 2 Broadcasts of Aaj Tak. On April 7, TV Today News Network had a meeting with the Inter­ Ministerial Committee (IMC) where the Taglines of Aaj Tak were not questioned, furthermore the Competent Authority that passed the impugned order was not present at the said meeting.

In the petition, TV Today News Network has claimed that the impugned order is wholly illegal and malafide and violates the rights guaranteed and protected under Part-III of the Constitution of India as:• There was no Show-Cause Notice.• Right to Hearing Violated.• Rule 6( l)(i) of the Rules has no connection with being ‘offensive’.• The test of offensive is ‘vague’ and ‘uncertain’.• Complete non-application of mind and lack of reason.• Competent Authority has abused discretion.• Impugned Broadcasts are in accordance with the Programme Code.

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