The bill is to provide for an independent authority to be known as
the broadcasting authority of India which is for the purpose of
facilitating and regulating broadcasting services in India. The
authority will have a perpetual succession and a common seal with
powers to enter into a contract and can sue and can be sued in its
name .it consists of a chairperson who will be appointed by
President of India on recommendation from the Chairman of the states
who will be the Chairman of the Committee the I & B minister and
the Press council of India. It will also consist of maximum eleven
part-time members to be appointed by the central government, a
secretary to the government incharge of DOT,a secretary general .The
Chairperson will be a whole time member and will hold office for a
term of five years. He will be appointed from amongst the persons of
eminence with more than fifteen years of experience in
administration, law, broadcasting, programming, engineering,
journalism etc .The part time members shall hold office for three
years and also will be eligible for reappointment for the second
term. The authority will hold minimum eight meetings every year. all
questions raised or which come up at the meeting will be decided by
The functions of authority will
1. To carry out frequency planning of such
frequencies or band of frequencies assigned to it by the wireless
adviser to the government for the purpose of services
2. To grant licences for broadcasting services.
ensure that wide range of broadcasting services are available
4. To ensure services of high
quality and offer a wide range of programmes to appeal to variety of
tastes and interests.
5. To determine the programme
code and standard.
6. To take necessary action for
violation of code ,violation of condition of licence.
7. To set technical and other quality standards to ensure a
reasonable quality of reception.
authority can appoint a committee of experts to advice on:
1. Practices to be followed in connection with unjust and unfair
treatment to any person in programmes, unwarranted infringement of
privacy included in programmes.
2. Practices to be
followed in connection to portrayal of violence ,sexual conduct in
the programmes i.e.to set standards of decency for programmes. with
regards to the attitude for the public at large.
No person is entitled to provide
broadcasting services without obtaining a licence ,after
commencement of this act. The authority can grant licences for the
following broadcasting services ,namely :-
TERRESTRIAL RADIO BROADCASTING
3. SATELLITE RADIO
4. SATELLITE TELEVISION
5. DIRECT TO HOME BROADCASTING
6. LOCAL DELIVERY SERVICES
7. Such other services as
may be prescribed.
broadcasting services can be further categorised into analogue and
digital and also into national ,regional , local , restricted local
services or any other similar service for the purposes of the
licences and prevention of heir accumulation.
The licence shall be provided subject to following conditions
1. The person granted the licence will ensure that
nothing is included in the programmes of the licensee which is
likely to encourage crime or lead to disorder or will be offensive
to public feeling.
2. The licensee will ensure that
news given in the programme will be presented with due accuracy and
3. The licensee has to ensure that due
impartiality is maintained in respect of social or political issues
or matter relating to public policy.
4. The licensee
will ensure due responsibility is exercised with respect to
religious programmes with a view to avoiding - improper exploitation
of religious susceptibilities and offence to the religious views and
beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion.
5.The licensee will ensure that due emphasis is given to promote
national integration, Indian culture in his programmes.
6. The licensee will have to ensure that time, determined by the
Authority ,is earmarked for broadcasting of - children's programmes
, educational programmes ,programmes of Indian origin , a range of
diversity of independent production.
7. The licensee
will have to follow the programme codes and standards and codes set
by the Authority.
8. The licensee will pay the
license fees in the same manner as may be determined by the
9. The Licensee will not carry out
networking of local or regional broadcasting services without prior
approval of the authority.
10. The conditions of the
license can be changed by the Authority after giving to the licensee
a reasonable opportunity of being heard.
The licence granted for Direct -To - Home service or Local Delivery
service shall be subject to the following conditions in addition to
the conditions referred above :-
1. The licensee will
have to provide a tier basic service which may include a number and
type of terrestrial broadcasting for every permitted services and
also of the public service broadcaster.
licensee will include only licensed services or permitted services
in his delivery package for the purpose of distribution and also he
will not use more than that no of channels as determined by the
Authority out of the total channel capacity of the system for
providing his own programming.
The period of licence
for each category will be for a period not exceeding ten years .The
licence is not transferable and it will lapse prior to its normal
expiry in case of insolvency or death of the licensee. No person
will be given the number of licences for a category of services more
than the number prescribed for the category of service. There are
restrictions on cross media ownership between the newspaper and the
broadcasting service. The government can modify any limit on
interest or equity holding in the body corporate or companies by
notification in the official gazette.
of licence for satellite broadcasting services.
Any person desirous of obtaining a satellite broadcasting licence
will have to apply to the Authority.
Authority is satisfied that the applicant --- a) has acquired
transponder on an Indian satellite system or on a foreign satellite
system . b) has obtained technical clearance for transponders from
the wireless adviser . c) Has fulfilled all other condition laid
down in the Act ;The Authority may grant a licence to such person on
payment of fees ; If the Authority refuses to grant a licence it
will have to give the applicant an opportunity to be heard. Provide
further that such a person providing his broadcasting services
immediately before the commencement of the Act may continue to do so
without a licence for a period of one month from such
Grant of licence for Direct -
To - Home Service.
The Authority will invite bids for
grant of licence and it will be granted to the highest bidder if he
fulfils all the conditions for the grant of such licence. The
Authority grant such no of licences (not less than two ) as may be
Special Provisions for
Satellite broadcasting and Direct-To-Home services.
The wireless Adviser will give technical clearance for licensing
(the clearance can be refused on technical or security reasons. In
cases where operations of the services are permitted with foreign
satellite system , while giving technical clearance for re licensing
or renewal of such services, give priority for their operation with
Indian Satellite system.
The licensee shall carry out
the up linking of satellite broadcasting services or direct - to -
home services from India only up linking of coverage of live events
taking place outside India can be permitted as determined by the
regulations. The Authority can permit continuance of up linking of
satellite broadcasting services from outside India till such time as
it is reasonably required for shifting or creating the necessary up
linking facility in India.
Grant of licence
for terrestrial services
The Authority will invite
bids for granting of licence and it will be granted to the highest
bidder .The Authority will grant licences to such as may be notified
for terrestrial broadcasting services through restricted bids .No
institution will be notified unless the object of such institution
is to provide education ,community service, Health awareness etc.
The wireless adviser will assign to the Authority for the purpose of
grant of terrestrial broadcasting service licence such frequencies
as it may determine .
Grant of licence for
Local Delivery Services.
The authority will grant two
licences for Local Delivery Service for each telecom circle as
identified by the Central government. The Authority will invite bids
and licence will be granted to the highest bidder. The Wireless
Adviser shall assign frequencies for MMDS for providing Local
Delivery service, wherever it is required.
Authority may exempt the non-commercial establishments under common
ownership from obtaining a licence for the purpose of providing
cable television services for the exclusive use of their members.
The government can by notification confer upon the licensee of the
local delivery services ,such right and obligations as it may
consider necessary in respect of placing and maintaining of his
cable networks as available to the telegraph authority.
Enforcement of Licences.
The Authority can take any
of the following actions in case of breach of any terms of the
1.Direct licensing to correction or apology
or not to repeat a programme;
2.To impose a penalty
which may extend up to rupees fifty lakhs.
the licence for a specified period
period of the licence.
5.revoke the licence.
Any aggrieved person may prefer an appeal an action of the Authority
in High Court having Jurisdiction within thirty days of such
The proceeds of the licence fee
will be credited to the consolidated Fund of India. The Authority
will have its own fund and all receipts of the authority will be
credited to the fund and all payments by the Authority will be from
them. The Authority will submit a report at the end of each
financial year to the central government.
Offence and Punishments:- A person who provides ,distributes or
receives any broadcasting service which is neither a licensed
service nor a permitted service or abets or assists transmission of
such service in any manner which may include collection of
subscription for his principal ,issuing of advertisements to such
service, dealing in or distribution of decoders or dish antennas,
shall be guilty of committing an offence of illegal broadcasting and
on conviction , shall be punishable with imprisonment which may
extend up to five years ,or with fine which may extend up to rupees
ten lakhs and in subsequent offence such fine may extend to rupees
fifty lakhs, or with both.
provisions for certain foreign satellite broadcasting
The authority after receiving a request in
this regard ,may grant permission for reception of an unlicensed
foreign satellite broadcast service in India ,
such broadcasting is service --
1. Is free to Air
2. Does not carry any
Advertisements; or carries advertisements for the duration as any be
fixed by the Authority. and the service is devoted solely to sports
or international news and current affairs
the programme standard with respect to permitted service. Provided
that the Authority may revoke such permission ,if it feels that the
service has contravened any of the above conditions.
Prohibition of exclusive rights for live broadcasting of
No licensee shall carry a live
broadcast of any sporting or other event of national or
international interest held in India ,without the consent of the
Authority unless the public service broadcasters have also been
given the broadcasting right for carrying the same.
Procedure and powers of the Authority
will be guided by principles off natural justice and subject to the
other provisions of this act and of any rules , the Authority will
have powers to regulate its own procedure including the fixing of
places and times of its inquiry.
2. The Authority
will have for the purpose of discharging its functions under this
Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the code
of Civil Procedure, while trying a suit , in respect of the
following matters ,namely :-
a) summoning and
enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on
b) receiving evidence on affidavits;
c) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or
d) Any other matter which may be
In event of any war or a natural calamity
of national magnitude , the central government may , in public
interest, take over the control and management of any broadcasting
service or any facility connected therewith, suspend its operation
or entrust the public service broadcaster to manage it i the manner
directed by the government for such period as it deems fit. The
government ,if it considers necessary or expedient to do so, may, in
public interest , at any time require the Authority to Direct any
licensee to --
1. Transmit in his broadcasting
service such announcement in such a manner as may be considered
2. stop any broadcasting service which is
considered prejudicial to friendly relations with a foreign country
,public order, security of state , or communal harmony. The central
government may in public interest , issue such other directions ,to
the Authority, from time to time as considered necessary.
Powers of the Authority to seek information conduct
enquires ,take evidence , etc. 1. The licensee will have start his
service within the period specified by the Authority and maintain
documentary records and transmission schedules as may be specified
and allow inspection of such records to the Authority.
2. The Authority can call for information from the licensee which it
considers in the public interest and necessary for the transparency
and ascertaining the true ownership of the licensee. The Authority
will have all the powers of an inspecting officer. If the
licensee defaults with any conditions the Authority can cancel the
licence. The application of this law is in addition to and not in
derogation of the provisions of any other law.
POWER TO MAKE RULES:
Central government can by
notification make rules for carrying out provisions of this Act. The
Rules will provide for all or any of the following matter.
1. Provide foe circumstances for communication.
salaries and allowances payable to the Chairperson and other part
3.The functions to be performed by the
4. No of licences more than which can't be
POWER TO MAKE REGULATIONS.
The Authority can make regulations and rules made their under by
notification. The rules will provide for all or any of the following
1. The time and place of the meetings, the
procedure of transaction of business.
2. The manner
of appointment of officers and employees and their salary.
3. The quality of reception and the programme cod and
4. The manner in which licence fee should
be paid by the licensee and the conditions of granting
5.The minimum no and type of service
of public service broadcaster and of terrrestrial broadcasting
services for every permitted service.
6. The no. of
channels to be used and the period of licence to the licensee.
7. The criteria subject to which the up linking from outside India
will be permitted in respect of these services for coverage of live
events taking place outside India.
8. Restricted area
under which permission may be granted.
sporting or other event of national or international interest of
which live telecast shall be carried out without Authority's
10.The documentary record and transmission
schedule to be maintained.
Every rules and
regulations are to be laid before the parliament. The central
government can make provisions in the Act within three years of
commencement of this bill and not after that, to remove any
difficulties that arise.
The cable television networks (regulation )
Act 1995 is repealed. The cable operators registered under this Act
can make an application to the Authority for grant of licence within
six months of commencement of this Act. The Authority may grant or
refuse the licence to the operator . No licence will be granted to
any cable TV network which provides such service to more than five
thousand households and from more than one location. No refusal can
be made unless the Applicant has a chance to present the case. The
Authority will authorise a District Magistrate to look in to the
complaints of the public . give notice to the operators make
inquires and take necessary action.
RESTRICTIONS ON THE HOLDING OF LICENCES
PART -- I
A Disqualification for holding of
The following persons will be disqualified
for the purpose of grant of licence :-
(a). An individual who is not an
(b). A partnership firm all of whose
partners are not citizens of India.
not incorporated in India.
incorporated in India but with: (a) Foreign equity in case of
terrestrial broadcasting services. (b) Foreign equity exceeding 49%
in case of other services not mentioned in (i) above and management
control not with Indian shareholders.
Governments and local authorities.
(f). Any person
convicted of an offence under this Act or convicted under
Representation of the peoples Act or declared as insolvent.
(g). A body , which is controlled by a person , referred to in any
of clause (a) to (e) above.
(h) A body corporate ,in
which a body referred to in clause (g) above ,is a participant with
more than a 5 percent interest.
Foreign equity for
this part will be notified to the government. from time to
Disqualification of religious
1.A body which is or is controlled by a body
or controls a body whose objectives are wholly or mainly of a
2.A body corporate in which the
body referred above is a participant with more than five percent
3.A person who is an officer of the
Disqualification of political
1.A body which is or affiliated to or is a
participant with more than five percent interest to a body whose
objects are or mainly of political nature.
individual who is an officer of the body.
Disqualification of publicly funded bodies.
1. A body
(other than a local Authority ) which has in its last financial year
received more than half its income from public funds.
2.A body which is controlled or a corporate which has more than five
percent interest in the above mentioned body.
Disqualification of advertising agencies.
Advertising Agency ,its associate or a body corporate having more
than five percent interest in a ad agency.
PART - I I
Restriction To Prevent
Accumulation of interest in licensed Services.
person will be allowed to hold licences in only one of the following
category of services:--
[a] Terrestrial Radio
[b] Terrestrial Television
[c] Satellite Television or Radio
[d] Direct - To - Home Broadcasting
[e] Local Delivery Services .
Any other category of services which may be notified by the central
2. Any restriction on
participation imposed as above on the holder of a licence shall
apply to him as if he and every person connected with hi were one
PART - III
Restrictions On Controlling Interest in Both Newspapers and licensed
1. No proprietor of a newspaper will either
be a participant with more than twenty percent interest in or
control a body corporate which is the holder of a licence to provide
a licensed service under this Act.
2. No proprietor
of a newspaper who is a participant with more than five percent but
less than twenty percent interest in a body corporate and not
controlling such a body corporate ,holding a licence will be a
participant with more than five percent interest in any other such
3. No person who is the holder of a
licence to provide licensed service under this Act will be either a
participant with more than twenty per cent. interest in or control a
body corporate which controls a newspaper.
person who is the holder of a licence and is a participant with more
than five percent but less than twenty percent interest in a body
corporate and not controlling such a body corporate which runs a
national newspaper , shall be a participant with more than five
percent interest in any other such corporate .
the purpose of this part ,a person controls a newspaper if--
[a] He is the proprietor of such newspaper; or
controls a body which is the proprietor of such newspaper.
6. Any restriction on participation imposed as above on the
proprietor of any newspaper or on the holder of licence shall apply
to him as of he and every person connected with him were one
1. (1) For
the purpose of this schedule,
Agency" means an individual or a body corporate who carries on
business as an advertising agent (whether alone or in partnership)
or has control over any body corporate which carries on business as
an advertising agent, and any reference to an advertising agency
includes a reference to an advertising agency includes a reference
to an individual who-
a) is a director or officer of
any body corporate who carries on such a business, or
b) is employed by any person who carries on such a business.
a) in relation to a body
corporate, means a director of that body corporate or a body
corporate interconnected with that body corporate.
in relation to the partner of the firm, means a relative of such
partner and includes any other person of such firm;
c) in relation to the trustee of a trust, means any other trustee of
such trust; and
d) in relation to an individual,
shall be construed in accordance with subclause (3);
e) where a person or a body corporate is an associate of another
person or body corporate, the latter shall also be deemed to be an
associate of the former.
a) in relation to the body corporate, shall be construed in
accordance with subclause (3); and
b) in relation to
any body other than a body corporate, means he power of a person to
secure, by virtue of the rules regulating that or any other body,
that the affairs of the first mentioned body are conducted in
accordance with the wishes of that person, and would include control
as a result of, or by means of, trusts, agreements, arrangements,
understandings and practices, whether or not having legal or
equitable force and whether or not based on legal or equitable
"Newspaper" means as defined under
the Press and Registration Act, 1867 (25 of 1867).
(2) For the purpose of determining the persons who are an
individual's associates for the purposes of this schedule, the
following persons shall be regarded as associates of each other,
a). any individual and that individual's
husband or wife of a relative, of that individual or of that
individual's husband or wife;
b) any individual or
any body corporate of which that individual is a director;
c) any person in his capacity as trustee of a settlement and the
settlor or grantor and any person associated with the settlor and
d) persons carrying on business in
partnership and the husband or wife and relatives of any of
e) any two or more persons acting together to
secure or exercise control of body corporate or any other associates
or to secure control of any enterprise or assets; and in this
sub-paragraph "relative" means as defined under the Companies Act,
(3) A person controls a body
corporate if -
a) he has a controlling interest in
the body, or
b) (although not having such an interest
in the body) he is able, by virtue of the holding of shares or the
possession of voting power in or in relation to the body or any
other body corporate, to secure that the affairs of the body are
conducted in accordance with his wishes, or
c) he has
the power, by virtue of any powers conferred by the articles of
association or other document regulating the body or any other body
corporate, to secure that the affairs of the body are so conducted,
and for this purpose, in the absence of proof to the contrary, a
person has a controlling interest in a body corporate if he holds,
or is beneficially entitled to, more than twenty per cent, of the
voting power in it.
(4) it is hereby
declared that a person may be regarded as controlling a body
corporate by virtue of clause (b) of sub-clause (3) despite the fact
a) he does not have a controlling interested in
any such other body corporate as is mentioned in that paragraph,
b) any such other body corporate does not have a
controlling interest in the body in question, or
he and any such body corporate together do not have a controlling
interest in that body.
(5) For the purpose
of any provision of this schedule which refers to a body controlled
by two or more persons or bodies of any description taken together,
the persons or bodies in question shall not be regarded as
controlling the body by virtue of paragraph (b) and sub-paragraph
(3) unless they are acting together in concert.
(6) In this Schedule any reference to a participant with more than a
five per cent, or, as the case may be, twenty per cent interest in a
body corporate is a reference to a person who-
holds or is beneficially entitled to more than five or, as the case
may be, twenty percent of the shares in that body or,
b) possesses more than five or, as the case may be, twenty per cent
of the voting power in that body, and, where any such reference has
been amended by an order under this Schedule varying the percentage
in question, this sub-paragraph shall have effect in relation to
it\s subject to the necessary modifications.
2. (1) Any reference in paragraph 1 to a person-
holding or being entitled to shares, or any amount of the shares or
equity share capital, in a body corporate, or
possessing voting power, or any amount of the voting power, in a
body corporate, is a reference to his doing so, or being so
entitled, whether alone or jointly with one or more other persons
and whether directly or through one or more nominees.
(2) "Inter connected Undertakings or Corporate Bodies"
shall have the same meaning as assigned in the Monopolies and
Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (54 of 1969).
3. For the purpose of this Schedule, the following persons are
connected with each other in relation to a particular license,
a) the license holder;
person who controls the holder;
c) an associate of
the license holder or of a person referred to in clause (b),
d) a body which is controlled by the license
holder or by an associate of the license holder.
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
broadcasting scenario, especially in the realm of satellite
broadcasting, has undergone a revolution during the last few years.
A large number of satellite television channels have been beaming
their programmes through the Indian skies to our people. All these
channels are foreign entities and their programmes are uplinked from
outside the country without any regulation through the law of our
land, while Indian entrepreneurs and Indian companies are not at
present permitted to own either Radio or Television stations.
2.Concern has been voiced both inside Parliament and
outside about the implications of these unregulated television
programmes and the denial of level playing field to Indian entities.
The only legal instrument available in the Indian Telegraph Act,
1885, which is considered totally inadequate to govern modern
broadcasting media. All leading democratic countries have enacted
laws specifically regarding broadcasting media. The introduction of
the Broadcasting Bill is a step in this direction.
3.It is felt that the public service broadcaster alone will not be
able to meet the needs and urges of the people in terms of variety
and plurality of programmes required in different regions by
different sections of society in our vast country. Keeping in view
our great democratic traditions, it is imperative that our citizens
are all informed and given wider choice in matters of information,
education and entertainment. This can be provided by