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  • S. Keerthana

CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK (REGULATION) ACT, 1995

S. Keerthana,

Dr. Ambedkar law university Soel

CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK (REGULATION) ACT, 1995

INTRODUCTION:

In Modern period most of the people in India Switch over Cable Television Network to DTH (Direct to Home) Television system then they Switch over to OTT Platform. Even though there is a rise in the use of OTT Platform, Still the Middle- and Lower-income group in India uses Cable Television Network which is owned by the Government. Mostly daily waged people rather then Monthly Salaried person would prefer Cable Television Network as it is comparatively cheaper then OTT platform. In early days there is no OTT or DTH platform so most of the people in India use Cable Television Network. Cable Television starts to grow faster in the year 2010 in many parts of the country. But it has its origin in the year 1948 where Cable Television started as a community Area TV (CATV) in the remote areas of Pennsylvania, Oregon and Arkansas. The object behind inventing the Cable Television Network is to pass on the information to the people living in remote Areas and Hills. The Cable Television Network introduced in India on December 1991. Disney Star a Foreign label company launched its four major Channel into the Indian broadcast space that has been owned by the Indian Government and the channel are Doordarshan, MTV, Star Plus, Star Movies, BBC News and Prime Sports.

HISTORY OF THE ACT :

The Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act, 1995 was introduced to regulate the number of Cable Television Network and Satellite broadcasts in India. Cable Television Network is a system of Television Network in which signals from different stations were picked up by the Master antenna and sent to optional fibre Cable to the premises of the subscribers. So there was no law to regulate this Network and many Cable Television Network broadcast Television programmes as they wish. To prevent such incidents Ordinance was proclaimed by the president on 29th September 1994 regulating the Activities of the Television Station which was then passed as a Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act, 1995.

OBJECTIVE OF THE ACT :

The Main aim of this Act is to regulate the content which is being Telecasted in the TV Programmes. It also helps to control the Substances and Activities of link system. As many channels in the Cable Television Network are related with the Western Countries so they may be chances of Broadcasting content related to Western Culture that does not suit for the Indian Culture. In addition, it also should ensure that the content Broadcasted are within the regulations of the Copyright Law, prevention from insightful, presentation of Uncertified Movies etc.

REGULATIONS UNDER THE ACT :

The Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act, 1995[1] regulates the Cable Television Network[2] in two ways. Firstly, it regulates the Cable Television Operator by making Mandatory Registration[3] of Cable Television Operators and they should possess legitimate legal Document for the Operating the Television Network. Next, it regulates the content which is being Broadcasted in the Television and ensures that it complies with the regulations prescribed by the Act. It was divided into 5 Chapters and 23 Sections[4].

CABLE OPERATOR (SECTION 2(aiii) :

According to Section 2(aiii) a Cable Tv Operator is a person who provides Cable Services through Cable Television Network and who manages and control the operations of Cable Tv Network to make sure that he fulfils all the criteria prescribed by the Central government.

SUBSCRIBER (SECTION 2(i)) :

According to Section 2(i) of the Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act,1955 A Subscriber is a person who receives the signals of a Cable Tv Network through the Cable Tv Operator directly. So the Subscriber may be an Individual person, Association, Company, Organisation, or Body. In other words a Subscriber is a person who enjoys the connection of Cable Tv Network in consideration for payment. Section 3 of the Act deals with Authority such as Telecom Regulatory Authority of India which is a Statutory body.

SECTION 4 : 

Section 4 of the Cable Television Network ( Regulations) Act, 1955 deals with Mandatory registration and also provides certain criteria which need to be fulfilled by the Cable Tv Operators. The criteria given in both section 4 and rule 3 of the Cable rule and it should also file the registration application.

v  The Equipment used by the Operators of Cable Tv Network must comply with the Cable Television Network Rules.

v  It should be registered under GST

v  It must be Transparent for the inspection by the Ministry of Broadcast and Information.

REGISTRATION :

1. Application

2. Examination

3. Certificate of Registration

APPLICATION:

Every Cable Tv Network Operator must apply for the registration[5]. This application for the Registration is also called Form Ⅰ. The application includes registration fees of INR 500/- and the documents such as Pan card, Aadhaar card, Proof of registration of business, Address proof, cancelled cheque, Identity proof of partner, Promoters or directors of the Cable Operator it any, details of area where the Cable Tv service is being provided, List of hardware equipment possessed by the operator and list of channels being provided. The Application fees must be deposited under the head of ‘Un-Classified Receipts’.

EXAMINATION:

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Examine the application made by the Cable Tv operators and grants Certificate if the application made by the Cable Tv operators fulfils all the criteria for possessing the Cable Tv Network. The Certificate of Registration will be provided under Section 4(5)[6] of the Act and the format of the Certificate is provided in Form 3 of the cable Tv network rules. Once the Certificate is being issued it must be renewed after 12 months. The process of renewal is same as Registration. Its format is provided in rule 3(1) of the Cable Television Network Rules.

DUPLICATE CERTIFICATE:

Rule 3(3)(b) of the cable Television Network rules also provides Duplicate Certificate. The process for obtaining the Duplicate Certificate is same as the Registration. The operator must pay INR 250/- as a fees for the Duplicate Certificate along with the Application of Registration. Once the TRAI is satisfied with the application it will grant Duplicate Certificate for the Cable Tv Operator.

RIGHTS OF THE CABLE TV OPERATORS UNDER THE ACT:

Section 5[7] of the act gives Cable Tv operators the right to lay and establish cables and erect posts under, over, along, across, in or on the Immovable property which are owned by the government or public property. Before laying the erect posts the operator must make request to the Public Authority. under this section the Central government may lay guidelines for State government for speedy approval of Cable operators request for laying the erect posts and speedy decision on refusal of grant of permission for laying posts. The Public Authority also provide conditions to the operators of Cable Tv Network to place the cable underground and to Examine, Repair, Alter or Remove the Cables or Posts.

PROGRAMMES UNDER PROGRAMME CODE:

Under Section 5 of the act mandates every Operators to Transmit or Re-Transmit those programmes that conform with the Programme Code which is provided under the rule 6 of the Cable Tv rules. The Programme Code[8] provides very wide list of programmes that are Prohibited from broadcasting, they are Defamation content, Visual or words offend the culture of the people in the Country, Contravenes any provisions of the Cinematography Act, 1952 etc.

OBLIGATIONS OF THE CABLE TV OPERATORS:

The Programme Code also provides obligations which is to be followed by the operators while telecasting the programmes. They are

v  He should show the women in a Positive way and the Programmes Telecasted must encourage them and give courage.

v  Before telecasting any Program which is registered under Copyright Act, 1957 he must get the license from the owner of the program before Telecasting it.

v  The language used in the program should not be very bad which may affect the Children.

v  He should not carry on any Tv Programmes or Channel which are not Registered.

ADVERTISEMENT:

The Advertisement which is being Telecasted must comply with the Advertisement code. Section 6 mandates everyone to Transmit or Re-Transmit through cable service only those Advertisement which comply with the Advertisement code which is provided in rule 7 of the Cable Tv Network Rules. The Advertisement Broadcasted must be according to the laws operating in the country and it should not offend the Integrity, Decency and Religious sentiments of the people. The Advertisement code provides certain character that an Advertisement should not possess. They are

v  Degrading contents of any caste, race, creed or Nationality.

v  Against the law prevailing in the country that is Constitution of India.

v  Encouraging people to cause Crime, Disorder, or Breach of law or

v  Promoting products like Cigarettes, Tobacco, Alcohol, etc.

The Advertisement code also provides duration for Advertisement that is Maximum of 12 minutes for Advertisement per hour in which 10 minutes for Commercial Advertisement and 2 minutes for Self-Promotion of the Channel.

REGISTER:

Section 7[9] Mandates every Cable Operators to maintain register for recording Transmission and Re-Transmission of the programs by him during the Month. The Transmission and Re-Transmission of program record must be maintained for one year Atleast. The format are provided in Form 5 in the Rule.

SECTION 8 OF THE ACT : 

Section 8[10] of the Cable Television Network Act gives Central government the Power to specify to the operators of the Cable Tv that certain channels of Doorharshan or parliament operating channels are is to be telecasted without any deletion or alteration of such contents of the channels.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT:

The Cable Operators must use only those Equipment or Digital Addressable system for their Cable Tv Network which are approved by the Indian standards under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986.

CHAPTER Ⅲ OF THE ACT:

Seize and Confiscation of Equipment[11] can be done under Chapter Ⅲ of the Act. Section 11 provides that any Equipment can be seized and confiscated by the Authorized officer if the operators of the Cable Tv Network contravenes the provisions of section 3, 4A, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 of the Act. The seize can be done by the order of the District Magistrate, A Sub-district Magistrate, A commissioner of police or any other officers of Central or State government. Under Section 12 the seize Equipment can be confiscated if the Cable Operator did not register his Cable Television Network.

PENALTIES (SECTION 16 & 17) :

If the cable Television operator make any act that Infringes the provision of this Act will be punished for the offences he committed. He will be punished only if the complaint in the form of written is filed by the concerned Authorized Officer. The punishment are

v  If the person Committed the Offence for first Time then his punishment will be Imprisonment for 2 years or fine which may extended to INR 1000/- or both.

v If the person continues to commit the Offence subsequently them he will be punished with Imprisonment for up to 5 years and fine extended to INR 5000/- for the Subsequent offence.

SECTION 19 OF THE ACT:

Section 19[12] gives the power to the Authorized Officer to issue order for Prohibiting the Cable Operator from Transmitting or Re-Transmitting any Programme or Channel under the ground of Public interest, Non-Conformity with the Programme or Advertisement Code[13], etc.

SECTION 20 OF THE ACT:

Section 20[14] of the Act provides that the Central government may prohibit the operation of any Channel in the Interest of the public. The Central government can also provide prohibit certain Programmes and Channels on the ground of

v  Sovereignty and integrity of India

v  Security of India

v  India’s relation with the Foreign States

v  Public order, Decency and Morality.

CONCLUSION:

Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act, 1995 came as the result of amending Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 which lacks provision related to Complaints and Redressal of Grievances from Citizens. The Main objective of this act is to Regulate the Cable Television Network Operators in the growing world. The Cable Television Network (Amendment) Act, 2021 provides Three level-redressal of grievances and Complaint mechanism. Self-regulation by the broadcasters, Self- regulation by Self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters and oversight by the Internal department committee at Union level. This act also regulates operation of OTT platform and other Cable Television Network operation.

REFERECE:

Websites:

1.Pragya Paliwal, Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 decriminalized, Ministry of Information & Broadcast  (5th October 2023 5.03 pm), https://pib.gov.in.

2.Rachit Garg, An Analysis of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, (April 9, 2023), Ipleaders, https://blog.ipleaders.in

[1] Shiv Cable Tv system vs. State of Rajasthan (1993) 2 SCC 476.

[2] Ministry of information and broadcasting  vs. M/S  Gemini TV. Pvt. Ltd. (2004) 5 SCC 714.

[3] Star India pvt. Ltd. Vs. The Society of Catalysts. (2007) 4 SCC 535.

[4] Rachit Garg, An Analysis of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, (April 9, 2023), Ipleaders, https://blog.ipleaders.in.

[5] Rachit Garg, An Analysis of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, (April 9, 2023), Ipleaders, https://blog.ipleaders.in.

[6] The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, § 4(5), Act of Parliament, 1995 (India).

[7] The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, § 5, Act of Parliament, 1995 (India).

[8] Rachit Garg, An Analysis of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, (April 9, 2023), Ipleaders, https://blog.ipleaders.in

[9] The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, § 7, Act of Parliament, 1995 (India).

[10] The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, § 8, Act of Parliament, 1995 (India).

[11] Rachit Garg, An Analysis of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, (April 9, 2023), Ipleaders, https://blog.ipleaders.in

[12] The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, § 19, Act of Parliament, 1995 (India).

[13] Pragya Paliwal, Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 decriminalized, Ministry of Information & Broadcast  (5th October 2023 5.03 pm), https://pib.gov.in.

[14] The Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, § 20, Act of Parliament, 1995 (India).

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