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India planning to make illegal transmission of foreign channels cognisable offence

With several foreign channels identified by internal security agencies as having content that pose potential threat to the country, the Indian government is planning to make illegal transmission of channels a cognisable offence.

Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said “Security agencies have identified a list of 24 illegal foreign channels and observed that the contents of some of these channels are not conducive to the security environment in the country and pose a potential security hazard.”

He said that the Ministry had introduced the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) second amendment bill 2011, containing amendments which were referred to a standing committee.

The amendments included making transmission of illegal channels a cognisable offence and enhancing the existing financial penalties in the Act with a view to discourage cable operator from transmitting illegal channels.