Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its Standards of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisements in Television Channels) Regulations, 2012, had decided to put a cap of 12 minutes of commercials in a hour during tv shows.
It had also decided to curb the loud and part screen TV commercials. However, the regulator later left out the issue of loud and part screen TV commercials from ambit of its regulations.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw issued notice to the TRAI and posted the matter for hearing on July 15.
VariousTV channels, however, have also challenged TRAI’s cap of 12 minutes’ advertisements in a hour and the high court is seized of those appeals.
NGO Mediawatch India, through its lawyer Gaurav K Bansal, has challenged the “mala fide” act of TRAI to omit certain regulations of Standards of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisements in Television Channels) Regulations, 2012, meant to regulate part-screen and loud commercials in TV channels.
“Such act of omission is not only a failure of TRAI in discharging its statutory responsibility but highly detrimental to the interests of millions of Indian tv audience,” it said.
The PIL has also sought a direction to TRAI to amend the 2012 Regulations for making them applicable to tv channels, owned and transmitted by local cable operators, Multi System Operators, Direct-to-Home Service providers and Internet Protocol Television Service providers.
The PIL also seeks a direction to TRAI for establishing a grievance redressal mechanism for effective enforcement of regulations on TV channels and other relevant service providers. Every broadcaster shall ensure that the advertisements carried in its channels are only full-screen advertisements and there shall be no part-screen or drop-down advertisement, it said.
Every broadcaster shall ensure that the audio level of the advertisements carried in its channel shall not be higher than the audio level of the programmes being broadcast in that channel.