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Help Downlink of illegal TV channels may be cognizable offence soon
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The government has proposed amendments to the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 in order to rein in cable operators illegally downlinking foreign channels. The amendments include making transmission of illegal channels a cognizable offence, enhancing the existing financial penalties and measures such as seizing of equipment of cable operators and license cancellation.

Security agencies have already identified a list of 25 illegal foreign channels and observed that the contents of some of these channels are not conducive to the security environment in the country and pose a potential security hazard, CM Jatua, minister of state in the information and broadcasting ministry, on Tuesday said in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

The proposed financial penalties for various violations range from Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh, a government official said.

These barred channels are from Pakistan, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

"Of the 25, while Q TV (Pakistan) and Peace TV (Dubai) had applied for downlinking permission, they were turned down by the I&B ministry after the matter was referred to the home ministry. The rest 23 channels have not even applied for permission," the official added.

The government has also proposed to introduce a bill in parliament after the Cabinet approves the matter.

There are about 60,000 cable operators in the country.

Source: Hindustan Times

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