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Pannun called for TV debate, government issues advisory to channels

NEW DELHI: In an advisory directing TV news channels to adhere to provisions of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, the I&B ministry on Thursday advised them to refrain from giving any platform to those who are accused of heinous crimes, including terrorism, or represent proscribed organisations.

The advisory was issued after a private channel invited Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the chief of the banned Sikhs For Justice, to participate in a debate.
"...the said person made several comments/remarks which were detrimental to the sovereignty/integrity of the country, security of India, friendly relations of India with a foreign state and also had the potential of disturbing public order in the country," it said.

Referring to reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech as per Article 19(2), the ministry said that while it upholds media freedom and respects its rights under the Constitution, content telecast by channels must adhere to the provisions of the laws of the land.