Broadcasting Content Complaints Council

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Justice Vikramajit Sen has been appointed as the new Chairperson of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC).

Justice Sen takes over from former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, whose three year term as the Chairperson has come to an end.

The BCCC has 13 members. Members of BCCC includes four members from civil society; four chairpersons/members from national level statutory commissions such as National Commission for Schedule Tribes, National Commission for Minorities, National Commission for Backward classes and National Human Right Commission (NHSRC); and four broadcaster members.

The redressal mechanism in BCCC is a two tier process — providing a viewer to complain first to the broadcaster/channel (not later than a week of telecast of the offending programme).

Each broadcaster has to set up a Standard and Practices (S&P) department with a content auditor as the head of the department to deal with complaints received from viewers or any other body.

The content auditor is responsible for replying to the complaint with a copy to the BCCC within a week of the complaint, failing which the viewer is free to take up the matter with the body. However, if the content auditor finds the complaint prima-facie frivolous, he or she has the right to take no action on such complaints.

In case the viewer receives unsatisfactory response from the broadcaster’s side, the complainant can approach the BCCC directly at an industry level.

The body will then take cognizance of the matter and if the broadcaster is found guilty, the BCCC is free to take steps such as issue of warning, as well as remedial steps such as running an apology on the channel, and finally, suggestion of suspension of broadcasting license to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The guidelines will be applicable to programming that appear on all distribution platforms including cable and satellite, direct-to-home (DTH), IPTV, headend-in-the-sky (HITS), mobile, or any platform that exists now or will be created in the future.

Set up in 2011, BCCC examines content-related complaints relating to all non-news general entertainment channels in India. Over the last six years, the 13-member body has handled more than 40,000 content-related complaints.

BCCC is the independent self-regulatory body for general entertainment channels set up by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).

IBF Board of Directors comprises IBF President Punit Goenka (Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd), and Directors Aroon Purie (Chairman, TV Today Network), Rajat Sharma (Chairman, India TV), Uday Shankar (Chief Executive Officer, Star India) and I. Venkat (Director, Eenadu).

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