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Indian court suspends Comedy Central for six days

Comedy Central was taken off air on Indian pay-TV network Viacom18 for six days from 26 November 2014, for airing content deemed objectionable by the Delhi High Court.

The Court found that the show Stand Up Club, broadcast in May 2012, included content that “was not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children as the same depicted women as a commodity of sex and appeared to deprave, corrupt and injure the public morality and morals.”

In addition, the program Popcorn, broadcast on 4 July 2012, was found to be “vulgar, obscene, offending good taste and not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition and children”.

The court order follows censure from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

Comedy Central blamed the broadcast as an “operational mishap and unintentional error” and had appealed the initial ten-day ban the Inter Ministerial Council had imposed for its first transgression as too harsh.

The court dismissed Comedy Central’s appeal, imposed INR20,000 costs and ordered the remaining six days of the channel’s original ten-day ban should begin at 12.01am on 26 November 2014.