I&B Ministry issues notice to PTC for airing ads on gurdwara polls

The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a showcause notice to PTC news channel, following allegations of the channel airing advertisements canvassing for votes in favour of a particular political party in connection Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee. These advertisements were reportedly aired on January 26 a day after the campaigning for the elections had ended.

The channel has been asked to explain why action should not be taken against PTC for the violating the model code of conduct.

In case the channel fails to reply within three days, action will be initiated against the channel.

The showcause notice stated that the Directorate of Gurudwara Election, New Delhi, wrote to the channel informing them that the campaign period for the elections had come to an end at 5 pm on January 25. "It was further stated that the continued running of advertisements by PTC on 26.1.2013, exhorting voters to vote in favour of a particular political party/candidate, is a violation of the model code of conduct as well as Section 126 of the Representation of People Act-1951," the notice added.

The notice further said that despite this memo, the channel carried advertisements continuously from 5 am till midnight on January 26. "The advertisements showed messages from prominent political figures of a particular political persuasion, appealing to voters to vote in favour of a particular political party," the showcause notice added.

The channel's CEO, Rabindra Narayan, however, told PTI that they had not violated any rule and had already "responded satisfactorily" to a memo they had earlier received from the Directorate of Gurudwara Election of the Delhi government.

"We had earlier received a memo from the Directorate of Gurudwara Election, a copy of which was sent to the I&B Ministry also. We have already replied satisfactorily to the memo and will also reply to ministry," Narayan said.

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