Government intends to control only misleading ads, not media

NEW DELHI: Talking tough on misleading commercials, Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas today said the issue needs careful handling to send the right message that government intends to restrain deceptive advertisement only and is not trying to control the media.

“I want to touch upon misleading advertisements. It (advertisement) is a major income for print and TV media. We have to handle it carefully so that the message does not go that by controlling advertisements, we are trying to control the media,” Thomas said at a conference on World Consumer Rights Day.

The minister said a committee was constituted with members of media and other organisations to look into the issue of misleading advertisements and its report has come.

“I think it is an important matter because we have to respect the freedom of press in the country. But at the same time, that media should not be used for misleading the people of the country,” Thomas said.

“Recently, the Bihar High Court has given a judgement that Government of India has to constitute a committee and look into these ads. Yesterday, I signed the file. Let us look into the judgement of the Bihar HC. It is not our ministry alone, there are other ministries like health, I&B especially, have to look into this important judgement,” he said.

Thomas said the ministry is considering the problems faced by the consumer disputes redressal commissions at national, state and districts level in terms of infrastructure facilities, manpower and remunerations.

He complimented the consumer forums for disposal of about 91 per cent of the cases.