The Union government has taken action against private television channels in 178 cases for violations of the Programme Code since 2018, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Singh Thakur told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

The minister made the statement in response to a question by Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha.

Thakur said that in some cases of violations, the government has issued advisories and warnings to channels. In some cases, it has also directed channels to broadcast apologies and has ordered channels to be taken off air, he said.

The minister also said that the Centre has issued an advisory on January 9 to private satellite television channels against the airing of disturbing footage and incidents of death, accident and violence.

“The Programme Code inter alia provides that no programme should be telecast which offends against good taste or decency and is not suitable for unrestricted public exhibition,” Thakur said. “The Government takes appropriate action when violation of the Programme Code is found.”

In response to a separate question by AAP MP Narain Dass Gupta, Thakur said that as per the Programme Code, no show containing attacks on religions or communities should be telecast.

“The Programme Code inter alia provides that no programme should be telecast which contains attack on religions or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes or which criticises, maligns or slanders any individual in person or certain groups, segments of social, public and moral life of the country,” the minister said.