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A parliamentary committee has urged the government to form an expert body to decide which material would fall in the category of indecent representation of women and consider setting up a central authority on the issue.

The committee, which was looking into the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, submitted its report to Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari Tuesday.

It also suggested creation of a central authority to regulate the cases of indecent representation of women.

The committee in its report said a legislation to control indecent representation of women is the “need of the hour”, especially in the “backdrop of the present day Indian society and also due to the rapid technological advancements, indirectly leading to opening of more avenues for cases of indecent portrayal of women”.

The committee recommended an expert body “to decide on the contentious issue of whether any content was objectionable or not”.

“The committee felt that such a mechanism would leave no scope for subjective interpretation of the term ‘indecent representation of women’,” an official statement said.

As concerns were raised over non-inclusion of TV, films and radio channels in the ambit of the bill, the committee has urged the government to approach the information and broadcasting ministry and other agencies to come forward with concrete action plan and monitoring mechanism for curbing such practices.

The bill seeks to amend a 1986 act which prohibits indecent representation of women through advertisements or publications, writings and paintings (primarily the print media).

(Source: IANS)

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