The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the central government to take action within a week against TV channel Colors for using the national anthem to promote reality show “Bigg Boss 6” in cinema halls across the country.
The court gave the directions after hearing a PIL against the channel for running a commercial of the Salman Khan-hosted show wherein an audio demanded that all present in the hall should “stand up for the national anthem” as Big Bigg Boss wanted it.
A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “In the wake of serious allegations levelled by the petitioner that the national anthem is disrespected, we direct the central government to treat this PIL as representation and the grievances be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
The court added that “necessary action would be taken by the ministry concerned against the respondents within a week”.
The PIL filed by Jeetender Gupta, a lawyer, alleged that Colors has “disrespected” the national anthem by using it to promote the realty show in various PVR multiplexes in the city as well as in other parts of the country.
“The Colors channel randomly displayed an advertisement inside the movie theatres and the said advertisement was in the form of a visual displaying the logo of its programme ‘Bigg Boss 6’ followed by an audio demanding all present in the hall to stand up for the national anthem.
“‘Bigg boss chahte hain ki aap rashtriya gaan ke liye khade hon’, (Bigg boss wants you to stand for the national anthem) and then the Indian National Anthem was played,” the petition stated.
It further added: “The respondent (TV channel) is trying to associate itself with the national anthem solely for commercial purpose of promoting its latest TV programme.”
The plea said: “The acts of TV channel and PVR amount to possible violations of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971 and the Emblems and Names (prevention of improper use) Act 1950.”