THE PSYCHOLOGISTS ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE CAUTIONING THAT EXPOSURE TO MEDIA VIOLENCE AND SEX, HAVE DAMAGING IMPACT ON THE CHILDREN, MINORS AND YOUTH. PARENT’S RIGHT OF BRINGING UP THEIR CHILDREN IN MIND POLLUTION IN A FREE ATMOSPHERE IS SNATCHED AWAY BY THE PERVERTED MEDIA.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
(Special Original Jurisdiction)
W.P.No. 17629 of 2009
1. G. Alex Benziger
2. Rev. Fr. Pancras M. Raja
3. A. Arokiadoss
4. Dr. S. Leonard Vasanth … Petitioners
1. Union of
Rep. by its Secretary to Govt.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Department,
R.No.655, A Wing, Shastri Bhavan,
New Delhi – 110 001.
2. Prashar Bharati Nigam Ltd.,
Rep. by The Director General,
New Delhi – 110 001.
3. Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board)
Mumbai - 400 006.
4. Vijay T.V.
Star Television Ltd.,
Star House, Off.
Dr. E. Moses Road,
Mahalaxmi, Mumbai – 400 011.
5. Sun T.V. Net Work (Pvt.) Ltd.,
Mandaveli, Chennai – 600 028.
6. FTV India Pvt. Ltd.,
3rd Floor, Nirlon House,
Opp. To Sasmire, Dr.A.B.Road,
Worli, Mumbai – 400 030.
7. AXN T.V.
Sony Entertainment Television
Interface Building No.7,
Malad Link Road,
Mumbai – 400 064.
8. Kalaignar T.V. Pvt. Ltd.,
367/369 Anna Salai,
Chennai – 600 0018.
9. SS Music
126 & 127, 3rd Floor,
Chennai – 600 005.
10. Raj T.V.
Raj Television Network Ltd.,
32, Poes Road
Chennai – 600 0018. … Respondents
AFFIDAVIT OF G. ALEX BENZIGER
I, G. Alex Benziger, son of M.S. Gregory aged about 48 years, residing at No.18, Pidariyar Koil Lane, Chennai – 600 001, South India, do hereby solemnly affirm and sincerely state as follows : -
1. I am the first petitioner herein I am well acquainted with the facts of this case. The second petitioner is a Catholic Priest, and I am filing this affidavit on behalf of the other petitioners also. We are filing this Writ Petition under public interest.
2. The second petitioner is a Catholic priest serving in India for the past 43 years, He is grooming the generation in the Tuticorin, Kottar and Palayamkottai Dioceses, nurturing them with moral, ethical values. The present day young and children who are highly exposed to mind pollution by the Television programmes, advertisements displayed by the Respondent Cable Television Networks telecasted.
3. We are filing the above writ petition against Obscene, violent, vulgar, indecent exhibition of dramas, serials, dances advertisements in the Television Cable net works telecasted by the Respondent TVs.
4. I state that TV is an indispensable feature for everybody invariably whether aged, young, child, rich or poor, who are seeing the television programme. This is the only past time or recreation for everybody in
either town or rural areas whether educated or not. India
5. I state that at present that the TV Broadcasting of the Respondent covering the whole of
Satellite network without any censorship or self control. The broadcastings are shown as
glorification and extenuations, enlisting admiration
or sympathy for criminals, Vice of
immoral acts are displayed indiscriminately. Indecorous
dancing, importination of women, torture
of adults brutal fighting,
gruesome murders, drunkenness, smoking
not essential to the theme of the
story are shown. Excessive
passionate love scenes, indelicate, sexual situation
and suggestive of immorality is very commonly
exhibited. Lowering of the sacredness of the institution of
marriage is a danger to the future
society. The present exhibition
of serials, advertisements etc., are
full of vulgarity, indecent, obscene
and pollute the minds of the young and
6. There is no freedom without law, therefore without the restricted guidelines and rules it is impossible to expect healthy programmes in TVs.
7. I respectfully submit that earth pollution is bad. Water pollution is worse. Air pollution is still worse. But the worst of all is the mind pollution. It corrupts the most valuable trait of human species. It corrupts the thinking. One of the most common forms of mind pollution observed today is obscenity, vulgarity and violence on women and children.
8. Today, we live in a culture of fear. Fear of violence. Fear of disease. Fear of war. Fear of terror. Fear of the weather. Fear of our neighbours. Fear of the unknown. Television Broadcasting drives a lot of this fear. People believe what they see on T.V. Television has an impact on fashion and lifestyle. It also has an impact on attitude and knowledge. If it is on TV it is believed to be true.
9. The present TV channels broadcasts are full of adult contents. The films, dance serials show detailed rapes and sex sequences. Music videos have half naked girls dancing, making suggestive gestures almost performing pornography.
10. I further state that in last few years a large section of the media particularly TV channels of the Respondents have taken liberty to flout all norms related to obscenity, vulgarity and violence. A systematic overdose of nudity and vulgarity is being forced into the brain of common viewer. The purpose is to use a cheap short cut to catch attentions and thus heat competition. They want to make quick money by selling their uncensored, uncontrolled mater mixed with so called Hot Stuff. The long term effect of this bombardment to sex and nudity is resulting in corrupting the thought process because thoughts are bound to come according to what you see, read and hear. The psychologists all over the world are cautioning that exposure to media violence and sex, have damaging impact on the children, minors and youth. The common man and parents of young children are worried. They feel helpless and frustrated. Their right of bringing up their children in mind pollution in a free atmosphere is snatched away.
11. Any picture, photograph, figure, article, write up, etc., or a public act which depraves or corrupts the mind and which appeals to the prurient interests or which is against the acceptable social moral standards would be called obscene and vulgar. In other words, the condition in which you would feel ashamed to see your mother or wife or daughter or sister is obscene. Obscenity is subjective issue. It is the eyes of the beholder. The answer is, one of the signs of primitive man getting civilized was that he started wearing leafs and barks of trees. It has been a long gradual process of human civilization. Today so called liberals are advocating nudity in the name of liberalization then they are taking us back to the primitive man and primitive civilization. Keeping the society in mind, whatever generally is not acceptable in the society is called obscene. For eg. wearing a bikini in the beach is normal but wearing it in a public place is objectionable and obscene. Having sex in closed rooms is normal but doing it in public, even by legally married couple is objectionable. At present, Television channels are Broadcasting Advertisements, serials, any public occurrence which are full of adult contents as follows :
a. T.V. Serials, films, show detailed rapes and sex obscene, indecent sequences.
b. Music channels have half naked girls dancing, making suggestive gestures, almost performing pornography.
c. The dancing competition programme are in utter obscene and indecent body languages.
d. Glorification or extenuation of crime depicting the modus operandi of criminals enlisting admiration or sympathy for criminals.
e. Vice and immoral acts of vicious and immoral person.
f. Indiscriminate drinking and smoking not connected with the theme of the story.
g. lowering the sacredness of the institution of marriage.
h. depicting rape, seduction, and criminal assaults on women, immoral traffic in women soliciting prostitution or procuring, illicit sexual relations.
i. excessive passionate love scenes, indelicate sexual situation and scenes suggesting immorality
j. indecorously or suggesting dressed, and indecorous postures.
k. indecorous dancing, importunation of women.
l. cruelty, strangulation, mutilation and bleeding.
m. cruelty to animals.
n. use of drugs,
o. horror as a predominant element.
12. The freedom of expression available to the Broadcasters is not for the Broadcasters as an Institutions but for the public good. The crux is not the Broadcasters freedom to broadcast it is rather the citizen right to know. Right to freedom of TV is a valuable right but the right carries with it, the responsibility and duty to be truthful and to protect right of others.
seeing TV programme is an every day affair for everybody either young, old or child, rich or poor in rural or
city. But the said TV programmes are exhibiting
indecent, immoral programmes indiscriminately without
being censored by authority of law or self control. In fact there is no restriction available on the Television networks. No pre-censorship is provided
in the cable TV networking. India
14. I state that Broadcast Media is a powerful purveyor of ideas and values and plays a pivotal role. It should not only provide entertainment but also disseminate information, nurture and educate and empower the people of India so as to enable them effectively participate in the democratic process, preserving, promoting and projecting the diversity of Indian culture and tradition. Further the broadcasting is duty bound to the educational, developmental, Social, Cultural and other needs and aspirations of people.
15. I state that the marriage as an institution is under threat. Divorces are increasing at a geometrical speed. The foundation of the family is dynamited. Teenagers and minors are indulging in sexual activities due to the adult contents in the TV. The body of a woman has become an object of entertainment. The Indian culture of a life long vow of faithful marital life is almost made nothing due to the incessant TV broadcasting of vulgar, indecent serials and programmes, against morality and ethics.
16. I further submit that all the steps taken by the Government of India submitted a number of Bills (which are annexed to the typed set of papers) to regulate the TV broadcasting and none of the said bills contain any measure to control the obscenity, indecency and vulgar Broadcasting by the TV corporates. All the said Bills have been allowed to lapse. As on today there is no law available in
restrict the obscene indecent vulgar Broadcasting
in `Television’ network channels. India
17. At present there are more than 290 TV channels are broadcasting in
. The present uncontrolled,
unrestricted Broadcasting by
Television networks disseminate obscene, indecent
vulgar and violence in exhibition in all the TV channels in the form of serials, advertisements and
other programmes. The TV programmes, serials are with obscenity and indecent
words, dress and body language. The Hon’ble Minister for
Information and Broadcasting Mr. Priya Rajan Dasmunshi warned the
channels which do not adhere to the
moral code would see “tough days
ahead”. To the crux of all, Broadcasting of indecent, vulgar programmes
shown by the Fashion TV and AXN
TV, was having serious
uproar in the society. On 17th
January 2007 the Government of
India had banned to Telecast of AXN channel till March 15, 2008 for showing a programme
titled “Worlds Sexiest Commercials as it
violated the programme code for cable television”. Further the Govt. banned the Fashion TV for two months from 1.4.2007 and on
21.9.2007, a Russian Channel TB6 were taken off air for obscene content. India
18. I further submit that Article 19 of the Constitution of India Guarantees Freedom of speech and expression and the same can be restricted among other grounds of social moral standards, decency and morality. Under Section 292 of Indian Penal Code, provides that any obscene or vulgar act displayed in public is punishable. Under, the Indecent representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986, provides that depiction of the figure, body or any part of the woman’s body which is denigrating women or likely to corrupt public morality is a punishable offence. In fact the Cable Television Network Act clearly mention that 24 hours adult programmes can be shown in television.
19. I state that censorship is prevalent all the world over in some from or the other in respect of cinematograph film. But as on today there is no pre-censorship in respect of Television plays. Earlier K.A. Abbas challenged the pre-censorship against cinematograph film. The Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the pre-censorship on the cinematograph film and the same is not in violation of the fundamental rights Article 19 (1) (G). The Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the censorship of film, their classification according to age groups and their suitability for unrestricted exhibition with or without excision is regarded as valid exercise of power in the interest of public morality decency etc.
20. I further submit that the need for the censorship of the cinematograph film was realized by the Government of India as early as 1968 and constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of Retried Chief Justice of Punjab High Court Hon’ble Justice Mr.C.D.Khosla to study and submit a report. The said committee after elaborate comparative study had submitted a report, under the Cinematograph Act. Every person desiring to exhibit any film has to apply for a certificate from the Board of Film Censor created under the Cinematograph Act. The Censor Board shall after examining the film certify the same or refuse to certify. The certification may be for unrestricted public exhibition or restricted for adults only by granting “U” certificate or `A’ certificate respectively.
21. The said Cinematograph Act lays down the principles for guidance and appeals under Section 5B and 5C. Section 5B provides that a film shall not be certified for public exhibition if in the opinion of the authority competent to grant the certificate the film or any part it is against the interest of the Security of the State friendly relations with Foreign States, Public order, decency or morality or involves defamation or contempt of court as is likely to incite the Commission of Offence. Section 5B(2) provides that subject to the provisions in Sub-Section (1), the Central Govt. may issue such direction as it may think fit setting out the principles which shall guide the authority competent to grant certificate under this Act in sanctioning film for public exhibition . Under Section 5C any person aggrieved against the order of the same shall make an appeal to the Tribunal.
22. Under Section 5B(2) the Central Government has given directions to the Board of Film Censors. They are divided into General Principles three in number followed by directions for their application in what are called rules. The General Principles laid down by the Supreme Court as follows :
(a) No picture shall be certified for public exhibition which shall lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience shall not be thrown on the side of crime, wrong doing evil or sin .
(b) Standards of life, having regard to the Standards of the country and the people to which the state relates, shall not be portrayed as to deprave the morality of the audience.
(c) The prevailing laws shall not be so ridiculed as to create sympathy for violation of such laws.
23. The application of the said General Principle is indicted in the four sections of the rules that follows the uniform standards all over the country.
(1) The first section deals with films which are considered unsuitable for public exhibition. This section is divided into clauses A to F.
Clause A : deals with the delineations of crime.
Clause B : with the exhibition of human form.
Clause C : with that of relation between sexes.
Clause D : with the exhibition of human form
Clause E : with the bringing into contempt of Armed forces or
public authorities entrusted with the administration of law and order.
Clause F : with the protection of the susceptibilities of foreign nation and religious communities with formenting social unrest of discontent to such an extent as to incite people to crime and promoting disorder, violence, a breach of the law or disaffection or resistance to Government.
Section II - Section- II enumerates subject which may be objectionable in a context in which either they amount to indecency, immorality, illegality or incitement to commit to breach of law.
Section – III provides :
It is not purposed that certification of a film should be refused altogether or that it should be certified as suitable for adult audiences only, where the deletion of a part or parts will render it suitable for unrestricted public exhibition or for exhibition restricted to adults and such deletion is made, unless the film is such as to deprave the majority of the audience and even excisions will not cure the defects.
Section – IV deals with protection of young persons and enjoins refusal of a certificate for unrestricted public exhibition in respect of a film depicting a story or containing incident unsustainable for young persons emphasis in this connection is laid in particular upon : -
(a) anything which strike terror in a young person, i.e. scenes depicting ghosts, brutality, mutilation, torture, cruelty etc.,
(b) anything tending to disrupt, domestic harmony, or the confidence of a child, in its parents for e.g. scenes depiction of parents quarrelling, violently, or one of them striking the other or one or both of them behaving immorality ;
(c) anything tending to make a person of tender years insensitive to cruelty to others or to animals.
24. In the aforesaid sections the following are unsuitable for exhibition namely –
(i) glorification or extenuation of crime,
(ii) Depicting the modus operandi of criminals.
(iii) Enlisting administration or sympathy for criminals.
(iv) Lowering the sacredness of institution of marriage and depicting rape, seduction and criminal assaults on women, immoral traffic in women, soliciting prostitution, procuration, illicit sexual relation excessively passionable love scenes, indelicate sexual situations, scenes suggesting immorality.
(v) Indecorous dancing, importunation of women, cruelty, strangulation executions, mutilations and bleeding cruelty to animals, drunkenness, or drinking not essential to the theme of the story,
(vi) Traffic and use of drugs.
(vii) Class hatred, horrors of war,
(viii) Blackmail associated with immorality
(ix) Gross travesties of administration of justice.
25. I state that there is no pre-censorship provided in any law in respect of telecasting in television . The Central Government has enacted a law called “The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 (Act 7 of 1995) to regulate the operation of cable television networks in the country and for matters connected therewith incidental thereto. Under Section 5 of the said Act provides as, “No person shall transmit or retransmit through a cable service, any programme, unless such programme is in conformity with the prescribed programme code”.
26. Section 20(3) provides that “Where the Central Government consider that any programme of any channel is not in conformity with prescribed programme code referred to in Section 5 it may by order regulate or prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of such programme”.
27. Under the said Act 7 of 1995 the Central Government has framed the Rules, wherein, Rule 6 provides programme code as follows :
(i) No. programme should be carried in the cable service which:-
(a) offends against good taste or decency.
(b) contains criticism of friendly countries,
(c) contain attack on religious or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups, or which promote communal attitudes.
(d) contains anything obscene, defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half truths,
(e) Is likely to encourage or incite violence, or contains anything against maintenance of law and order which promote anti-national attitudes.
(f) Contains anything amounting to contempt of court.
(g) contains aspersions against the integrity of the President and judiciary.
(h) contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation.
(i) Critisises, malign or slander any individuals in person or certain groups, segments of social public or moral life of the country.
(j) encourages, superstition or blind belief.
(k) Denigrates, women, through the depiction in any manner of the figure of the woman, her form or body or any part thereof, in such a way as to have the effect of being indecent or derogatory to woman, or likely to deprave corrupt, or injure the public morality or morals.
(l) Denigrates children
(m) contains visual or words which reflect a slandering ironical and snobbish attitude in the portrayal of certain ethnic, linguistic, and regional groups.
(n) contravenes the provision of the Cinematograph Act.
(ii) The cable operator should strive to carry programmes in his cable service, which project women in a positive leadership role of sobriety, moral, character building activities,
(iii) Programmes meant for adults, should normally be carried in the cable service after 11 p.m. and before 6 a.m.
(iv) Care should be taken to ensure the programme meant for children do not contain any bad language, or explicit scenes of violence.
(v) Programmes, unsuitable for children must not be carried in the cable service at times when the largest number of children are viewing.
28. I respectfully submit that there is no pre censorship measures provided in the said Cable Television Act and Rules. There is no enforcement machinery provided under the said Act and Rules. In a way it is left open to the cable television operators to have their own free choice. Taking advantage of the said absence of regulatory measures, all the TV channels are exhibiting indecent, vulgar, programmes polluting children and young person. The Government of India drafted a bill to regulate the “Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2006” and the same was allowed to lapse. Subsequently, another Bill was introduced under the name and style of the “Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2007” and this has also been allowed to lapse. Both of the said Bills did not provide for any regulatory measures of any pre-censorship of the TV programmes. On the contrary, Government of India has suggested a guidelines under the name of self regulation guidelines for the Broadcasting.
29. I further submit that all the television corporates broadcasted the episode of assault occurred in the
on 12.11.2008 repeatedly. The result is all the viewers were put into horror and terror. The whole society was put under
shock. Events can be broadcasted
as a matter of public information
system. But, repeated broadcasting
of the same episode makes the people terrified and they are compelled to think the
society negatively. The terror attack happened at Mumbai on 26.11.2008 was
again broad casted repeatedly. Further the police atrocities in the Madras High
Court on 19.2.2009 was broadcasted repeatedly
nearly one week. On repeated broadcasting
of the barbaric act has made the people
under shock. Madras Law College
30. I further submit that the Govt. of India has framed programming code to the Television Broadcasting. Under the said code authorities have been created and they are only toothless bodies. Violators of the programming code are not booked nor tried and punished. In a way there is no law available as on today regulating the TV Broadcasting in
31. I further submit that consequent upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the Bengal Cricket Association case (1995) the Airwaves are public property and the same has to be controlled by the Public Authority in the interest of justice. The Broad casting bill 1997 was introduced in the Parliament and the same was lapsed. The following bills have been introduced in the parliament.
1. The Broadcasting Bill 1997.
2. The Communication Convergence Bill 2001.
3. The Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2006.
4. The Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill 2007.
All the said bills introduced in the Parliament have been allowed to lapse. The Cable Television Networks Act 1995 has been brought to regulate the cable business without enforcement or monitoring authorities.
32. The following obscene, indecent vulgar immoral broadcastings displayed indiscriminately by the following T.V. channels namely ;
* AXN TV programmes. A cinema was Broadcasted on 7.1.2009 wherein on a male was handcuffed by a woman and raped.
* On 26.1.2009 Republic Day a cinema under the title of “Kathalil Vizhunthen” brutal murders were shown.
* On 26.1.2009 a movie called Giri wherein a lady asks her son to bring the head of another in a vociferous sound. The dialogue was repeated several times.
* SS Music, dance programmes are shown with indecorous and importunation of women.
* “Manada Mayilada” - in Kalaigner TV
* “Jodi No.1” - in Vijay TV,
* “Fashion Parade”- in Fashion TV with indecorous dressing and half nude.
* “Love at First sight” messages for youngsters to indicate love message to the opposite sex - in Raj T.V. (Raj Music) and other T.Vs.
* In the past, man was shown as running after women. Now a regular feature is two or three women fighting for a man. This kind of blatant degradation of womanhood in all the TV serials.
There are innumerous instances.
33. These television programmes are exhibited in competitive character of one TV trying to do more than the other, without bothering or accepting their responsibility to the people Nation, its tradition, culture and the impact on the young and children.
34. Very many complaints have been lodged before the Central Government against the indecent, immoral obscene programmes. Various forums and Social service organizations are making protests Dharnas against the said illegal exhibitions. But all in vain.
35. Children protested against indecent portrayal of women in television programmes in Chennai on 2.3.2008.
36. The cases of molestation sexual harassment and rape is on the rise due to this constant broadcasting of obscenity, violence in the media in the new generation. The ultimate result would be, steady destruction of the institution of marriage. “The New York Times” reported on 16.1.2007 that 51% of the women in
are without spouses. Further prevalence
of much married status is common. As on date,
due to the said obscene vulgar
programmes in TVs have
created intolerance that it had resulted with
multiplication of Family
Courts, and filing of divorce
petitions had increased at Geometrical speed. “The New Indian Express” on 17.7.2007 reported that many young couples, particularly women, have been filing
petitions for separation, which was unheard of in the 1970’s. A judge of the Delhi Matrimonial Court said
there used to be one to two cases
in the 1960’s, 100-200 in 1980s, about
1000 in 1990’s but now it has increased to about
9000 cases per annum. Our
country has a rich
tradition of system, and culture. Marriage
is a divine institution. Any form of denigration advocating the lowering
the institution of
marriage cannot be allowed. If the present trend is allowed to continue
we may also face the same
situation as in USA
Further the fate of the children and
building up of the future society is at a high risk. U.S.A.
based “The Daily Telegraph” on 2.2.2009 reported that “too much TV can make children mentally ill”. The
report has found that only a quarter of children with mental health problems get any
specialist help, and one in 10five to 16 year
olds now have mental health
issues ranging from anxiety
or depression to conduct
disorders such as destructive
38. I respectfully submit that under sec 20 of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995 the,
Govt may prohibit operation of any Cable Television Network in
such areas. The Central Govt. is also bound to regulate, prohibit the
transmission and retransmission of any channel or programme of any Cable TV.
Under the said Act (Sec 20) the Central Govt. has to prohibit the operation of
any Cable Television Network of their transmission or retransmission, in the
interest of public order, decency and morality.
39. I further submit that a notice has been issued to the Central Govt. and other TV Channels dated 25.03.2009, to prohibit transmission of indecent, vulgar, violent, immoral programmes and the same has been received by them. But only two, TV Channel network namely, AXN and Vijay TV have given evasive reply.
40. We have no other alternative and efficacious remedy except to invoke the extra ordinary jurisdiction of this
Hon’ble Court under Art 226 of the Constitution
It is therefore prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other writ, order or direction in the nature of a writ directing the 1st respondent to regulate, order prohibit the transmission or retransmission of the cable Television networks of the Respondents which are telecasting indecent, vulgar, obscene programmes of inducing, glorifying violence, crimes, obscenity in particular on women and children, explicit images of sexual perversions or acts of sexual violence like rape or molestation, or show pornography, or use of sexually suggestive body language or have half naked girls dancing almost performing pornography or indiscriminate drinking and smoking and pass such further or other orders as may deem fit and proper in the circumstances of the case and thus render justice.
Solemnly affirmed at Chennai
on this the day of July , 2009 BEFORE ME
and signed his name in my presence.
ADVOCATE : CHENNAI
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