The Information & Broadcasting ministry on 11 April 2016 constituted a three-member committee to check violations of the Supreme Court guidelines with regard to content in government advertising. The committee was formed in compliance with the Supreme Court directions dated 13 May 2015.
The committee is headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon. Apart from Tandon, the other two members of the committee are Rajat Sharma, Editor-in-Chief of India TV, and Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman South Asia, Ogilvy and Mather.
The three member committee was selected by a three member panel constituted by ministry after obtaining advice from the Law ministry. The selection panel for constitution of the committee was headed by Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, Chairman, Press Council of India.
Key tasks of the committee
• Under the terms of reference, the committee will address complaints from the general public of violation on the implementation of the guidelines set out by the Supreme Court.
• The committee will also take suo motu cognizance of any violation/deviation of the guidelines of the Supreme Court and recommend corrective action to the ministrydepartment.
• The committee may recommend suitable changes to the Supreme Court guidelines to deal with new circumstances and situations that may arise from time to time, without making major policy changes within the policy direction of Supreme Court.
• The tenure of the members will be initially for a period of two years, which shall be extendable by one year at a time, but overall extension should not be more than two times.
• The committee will be operational from Delhi and the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity would facilitate day to day functioning of the committee.
The Supreme Court on 13 May 2015 had laid down criteria as per which government advertisements can only carry pictures of certain dignitaries like the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.
Subsequently, the apex court modified its earlier order. It allowed that Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, Governors and State Ministers can now appear in government advertisements.
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Who: B B Tandon Committee
When: 11 April 2016