Delhi HC asks I&B ministry why no action was taken against TV9 for guest's homophobic remarks

Delhi High Court has asked the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to explain how they didn't find enough grounds to take action against some statements made on TV9 Marathi news channel about homosexuality. The remarks in question were referring to homosexuality bas a disease, and claiming to have cured several gay men of the 'condition'. 

The issue was brought to the notice of the court by petitioner Indrajeet Ghorpade who objected to the remarks made on a show called 'Arogyam Dhanasampada - Sexual Problems and Solutions'. After the said episode of the show aired in March 2020, the petitioner first wrote to the TV channel explaining them why the statements made were problematic. Subsequently, he also made a formal complaint to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority as well as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. 

The petitioner said that after his correspondence with them, the news channel had agreed to include the correct information and bring in credible experts on the subject in a future episode. NBSA replied to his complaint in June 2020 saying they would be unable to take action as the channel was not a member of their association at the time the episode was aired. The ministry replied to him in February 2021 stating that they found no grounds to take any action as the show did not violate the Programme Code. 

While hearing Ghorpade's plea to quash the impugned order of the ministry Justice Pratibha M Singh also issued a notice to the channel. She pointed out that the order was passed without a hearing. After asking both respondents to put forth their explanation on the issue, she scheduled the next hearing on April 5. 

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