NBDSA orders mainstream news channels to remove shows, fines imposed Since 2018 CJP files 23 complaints with the NBDSA

02, Mar 2024 | CJP Team

In the past few days, a total of seven orders have been issued by the News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) directing television news channels to take down videos from their websites and channels. These shows had broadcasted by channels such as News18 India, Times Now Navbharat and Aaj Tak in the last two years. Complaints had been filed against these shows for targeting minority religious communities and other marginalised communities, spreading hatred and encouraging false narratives in the society. NBDSA found these impugned shows to be spreading hatred and communal disharmony by “violating the code of ethics and broadcasting standards and the specific guidelines covering reportage on racial and religious harmony”. While the common penalty imposed was the taking down of the videos, in some fines have also been imposed on the broadcasters.

On February 29, activist Indrajeet Ghorpade received four favourable orders from NBDSA. There orders were issued by the statutory commission, presided over by retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri, upon three complaints filed by the complainant against three separate news channels for airing news programmes that were violative of the guidelines set by the NBDSA. Through the three orders, a monetary penalty of Rs. 1 lakh has been imposed upon Times Now Navbharat Rs 1,00,000, while News 18 India has to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. Furthermore, the commission has issued a warning to Aaj Tak. Additionally, all three channels have been directed to remove the online uploads of the offending programs within seven days. Notably, all the three have been found guilty of airing content that spreads hatred and communal disharmony.

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1. Order of Times Now Navbharat:

Complaint: On June 3, 2023, activist Indrajeet had filed a complaint with Times Now Navbharat. He had flagged the tickers and headlines showcased during the show that had been aimed at demonising and spreading hatred against the Muslim Community. The complainant had also highlighted the many generalised statements against the Muslim community that were made during the show with no basis. Notably, the murder of Sharaddha Walker was repeatedly given a communal angle and used to colour Muslim men as suspicious.

Order: NBDSA imposed a fine of Rs. 1 lakh on Times Now Navbharat after finding anchor Himanshu Dixit to have targeted the Muslim community and generalised inter-faith relationships as “love jihad”. In its order, the commission took objection to the Times Now Navbharat program on “love jihad” and observed, “on a perusal of the impugned broadcast, it appears that at the very beginning of the broadcast, the anchor has concluded that men from a certain community lured women from another community by hiding their religious identity and then committed violence or murders against such women and every such violence or murder committed on women of a certain community related to ‘love jihad’. This is evident from the questions raised and statements made by the anchor during the impugned broadcast. When some of the panellists expressed their concerns regarding the communal angle being given to such alleged incidents and regarding selective cases of violence against women where the perpetrator belonged to a particular community, the anchor shouted them down and did not allow them to express their views.

In furtherance to this, NBDSA also observed that there may be some instances where boys from a particular community married Hindu girls, however the same does not give a warrant for news anchors to make generalised statement. The order stated, “Some such instances should not lead to making generalized statements regarding inter-faith marriages by giving it a communal colour. Every citizen, from whichever religion, has a right to marry a person of his/her choice, irrespective of the religion to which he/she belongs. Merely because a Hindu girl married a boy of another faith would not tantamount to love jihad unless it is established that such a Hindu girl was duped or coerced into the marriage. Further, because of few incidents of such forced marriages, an entire community cannot be branded. Thus, it was not proper to generalize the incidents with the tickers such as “Love तो बहाना है … Hindu बेटियाँ निशाना हैं” Jihadiyon se Beti Bachao”.

NBDSA further pointed out that the term “love jihad” should be used sensibly in future broadcasts since religious stereotypes can damage the country’s secular fabric. NBDSA considered that if incidents had been discussed or debated independently, they would have fallen under the bounds of journalistic freedom and stated “It is the generalization of these incidents by targeting the entire community, which is found to be violative of the principles of Impartiality, Objectivity and Neutrality under the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards (“Code of Ethics”) and the Specific Guidelines covering Reportage relating to Racial and Religious Harmony. In the impugned broadcast, the anchor had also violated Clauses (f) and (h) of the Specific Guidelines for Anchors conducting Programmes including Debates”.

The complete order can be viewed here:


2. Order of News 18:

Complaint: A total of four shows that had been aired by News18 were complained against by activist Indrajeet. It had been contended by the complainant that these four shows. All of which were based around the themes of ‘Love Jihad’, had violated the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards and Guidelines relating to neutrality, accuracy, fairness, religious harmony, sensationalisation of crime, negative stereotyping and good taste.

Order: Through its order, the NBDSA slapped a fine of Rs. 50,000 on News 18 India for three shows, two of which were anchored by Aman Chopra, and one by Amish Devgan. These shows were found to have communalized the Shradda Walker case as “love jihad.” Notably, the remaining one broadcast was a subject-matter of an FIR registered in Bharatpur, Rajasthan and thus, the commission could not take cognizance of the same.

In the order, the commission stated that “while the media has the right to conduct debates on any topic of its choice, however, it may have been inappropriate for the broadcaster to haveconducted several debated on the subject of “love jihad” while linking it to the Sharaddha Walker murder case”.

It further added that “NBDSA stated that the term ‘love jihad’ should not be used loosely and should be used with great introspection in future broadcasts as religious stereotyping can corrode the secular fabric of the country, cause irreparable harm to a community and create religious intolerance or disharmony.”

The complete order can be viewed here:


3. Order of Aaj Tak:

Complaint: The third complaint had been filed by activist Indrajeet against the ‘Black and White’ show anchored by Sudhir Chaudhary and aired on Aaj Tak. Through the complaint, the complainant has specifically pointed to the false statements made by the host to target and create hatred and fear against the Muslim community. In the complaint, the complainant wrote that “the broadcasters chose to look away from the rampant discrimination that Dalits and Muslims face. Instead, it ran a show portraying Muslim people as rioters and Muslim areas as mini-Pakistan.”

 Order: In its order, NBDSA observed that there would not have been a problem with the broadcast if the broadcaster had confined its analysis to the incidents of communal violence, but the tickers that were shown during the programme portrayed a completely different picture. Additionally, NBDSA noted that the violence committed by a few miscreants was generalised by the anchor to target a particular community.

The order stated “NBDSA observed that there would have been no problem with the broadcast if the broadcaster had confined its analysis to the incidents of communal violence. However, by broadcasting the following tickers ‘today Muslim areas, tomorrow Muslim country’, a completely different colour had been given to the programme.”

With this, the authority directed the broadcaster to remove the video of the said broadcast from its channels and websites within 7 days of the order.

The complete order can be viewed here:


4. Order of India Today

Complaint: On June 30, 2023, a complaint against a programme titled “Nudity sparks outrage at USA pride parades- How India’s LGBTQ+ lead Responsibility” aired by India Today had been filed by activist Indrajeet. Through the complaint, the complainant has emphasised upon the false images that were show during the show to spread hatred and homophobia. In the complaint, the complainant had stated that “a simple reverse image search can help separate facts from fake news. However, it is clear that the broadcaster was either incapable of fact-finding or had malafide intent to sensationalise and spread fear against minority communities.”

Order: Noting that the broadcaster had utilised images sourced from USA and made false assertions regarding them to instil fear amongst the audience regarding the LGBTQIA+, NBDSA observed that the visuals and images used were “totally out of context” and were not part of the incident covered was a violation of the principle of accuracy. With this, the commission ordered the broadcaster to edit the video of the said broadcast by expunging the objectionable parts or if that is not possible, to remove the video, from all websites and channels within 7 days.

Apart from following the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards and Guidelines, members were also circulated a set of guidelines for broadcasting on issues concerning the LGBTQIA+ community, for “strict compliance” after the commission noted that several complaints had been received by concerning reporting on LGBTQIA+ issues.

The complete order can be viewed here:


Other orders issued:

In addition to the aforementioned four orders, NBDSA had issued more such orders. Another ‘Black and White show’ hosted by Sudhir Chaudhary on former US President Barack Obama’s comments on the protection of minorities in India while PM Narendra Modi was on a state visit to America came under the scanner of the authority. On the complaint filed against the same, the NBDSA found that apart from finding “a violation of the principles of Objectivity and Neutrality”, the broadcast had violated the Specific Guidelines for Anchors, which stated that “all programmes must be presented in an impartial, objective and neutral manner”.

As per a report of the Indian Express, the order stated that by using words “Tukde Tukde Gang”, “Khalistani in Punjab” and “Pakistani supporters” instead of confining its discussion to Obama’s statement, the broadcaster had failed to present a controversial issue with sensitivity and objectivity. With this, NBDSA slapped the broadcaster with a fine of Rs. 75,000 and directed them to remove the video of the show. In addition to this, the broadcaster was also advised by the commission to ensure that “in future broadcasts, controversial subjects are fairly presented with strict adherence to the principles of Neutrality, Impartiality and Objectivity in the broadcast”.

Another complaint had been filed against an episode the ‘Black and White show that aired on Aaj Tak in March 24 last year. . Notably, the show had aired a day after a Surat court convicted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of defamation for a 2019 speech about thieves with the surname Modi. The said complaint had been filed by Youth Congress president Srinivas B V on a fictional video of Rahul Gandhi that was shown in the programme. In its decision, NBDSA observed that the “story of the robber and the imputation it carried” with Gandhi’s conviction was “not in good taste” and “should have been avoided”. The NBDSA also advised the channel to be “careful while airing such fictional videos” in future.

CJP complaints to NBDSA over the years:

Since 2018, Citizens for Justice and Peace has been consistently monitoring news programmes being broadcasted contentiously and with the aim of spreading its partisan agenda. Over the years, a total of 23 complaints have been filed by the human rights organisation with the NBDSA. Out of these 23 complaints, 8 have been filed against Times Now Navbharat, 3 against Zee News, 4 against Aaj tak and 2 against Times Now.

In addition to this, out of the complaints filed, 4 had Sudhir Chaudhary as its host/anchor, 2 had been hosted by Aman Chopra and 7 were against shows hosted by Rakesh Pandey. Notably, a total of 7 complaints remain pending with NBDSA and the arguments are yet to take place. Out of the remaining 15 complaints that have been decided by the commission, 13 have resulted in removal of the contentious shows. Additionally, in two cases, monetary penalty of Rs.50,000 and Rs. 25,000 were also imposed.

Details of the complaints filed can be viewed here: 

S. No Complaint year Issue with the show Broadcaster Anchor of the show Fine imposed/ decision given Comments in the order Link
1. Feb 21, 2024 Casteist comments against Tribal Minister Hemant Soren and his family Aaj Tak


“Soren परिवार का विश्लेषण | Hemant Soren | Champai | Sudhir Chaudhary”

Sudhir Chaudhary Arguments yet to take place before NBDSA https://cjp.org.in/cjp-urges-for-removal-of-contentious-aaj-tak-show-on-hemant-soren-sends-complaint-to-channel/
2. Nov 10, 2023 Spreading misinformation on the issue of Israel and Palestine ongoing war Times Now Navbharat


1. “Modi के खिलाफ.. क्यों खड़े ‘हमास’ के साथ ? | Israel-Hamas Conflict | Owaisi | ST Hasan”



2.“Rashtravad: हिंदुस्तान में ‘Hamas Think tank’; कौन बना रहा है ? | Israel-Palestine Crisis | Owaisi”



Rakesh Pandey and Naina Yadav Arguments yet to take place before NBDSA https://cjp.org.in/cjp-writes-to-times-now-navbharat-for-giving-israel-hamas-conflict-a-communal-colour/
3. August 16, 2023 One-sided debate over a sub-judice issue and furthered a divisive discourse that heightened a communal divide throughout its narrative


Times Now Navbharat


“Rashtravad | Gyanvapi Survey के बाद ‘ज्ञानवापी आंदोलन’ होगा ?”


Rakesh Pandey Arguments yet to take place before NBDSA https://sabrangindia.in/cjp-escalates-complaint-against-times-now-navbharat-show-on-gyanvapi-mosque-to-nbdsa/
4. June 28, 2023 The debate show had themes of a divisive discourse

that furthered a communal (intra-community) divide throughout its narrative

Times Now Navbharat


“बाबा की सनातन शपथ…भड़काऊ पथ पर जमीयत!| Hindu

Rashtra | Bageshwar Sarkar Vs Hasan Madni”


Himanshu Dixit Arguments yet to take place before NBDSA https://cjp.org.in/cjp-complains-against-3-shows-of-times-now-navbharat/
5. June 28, 2023 Attempts to push the narrative of the madrassa or all madrassas being a/the centre of illegalities. Times Now Navbharat


“Rashtravad : मदरसों पर नकेल, नहीं चलेगा विदेशी फंडिंग का खेल ?”


Rakesh Pandey Arguments yet to take place before NBDSA https://cjp.org.in/cjp-complains-against-3-shows-of-times-now-navbharat/
6. June 27, 2023 Attempts to formulate a link between the dargahs/mazaars and the increase in Muslim population across Uttarakhand by using objectionable terms like “mazaar jihad” and “land jihad”. Times Now Navbharat


“धामी सरकार का ‘ऑपरेशन मजार’, ‘गजवा-ए- ह िंद’ की सा जश के कससे जुडे तार?”


Rakesh Pandey Arguments yet to take place before NBDSA https://cjp.org.in/cjp-complains-against-3-shows-of-times-now-navbharat/
7. April 28, 2023


“Illegal Mazhaars” found on government land in Uttarakhand based on a ground report Aaj Tak


“Black and White Show”

Sudhir Chaudhary Advisory to not use “Mazhaar Jihad” term again The NBDSA observed that the anchor should have avoided using the term ‘Mazhaar Jihad’ while reporting on the issue of illegal encroachment as it gave a totally different dimension to an otherwise valid issue raised by the broadcaster.





8. January 30, 2023 Communally divisive narration of court ordered eviction in Uttarakhand Times Now Navbharat


“देवभूमि Uttarakhand में ‘जमीन जिहाद’ पर बुलडोजर एक्शन की बारी!”


Rakesh Pandey Removal of the impugned show, warning to the broadcaster to be more careful in the future The NBDSA held that the broadcaster had “re-iterated the prejudices or stereotypes that are historically used to target, attack and ridicule communities based on their religion” in the show. Furthermore, the NBDSA observed that the word “Jihadi” was used out of context. https://cjp.org.in/nbdsa-cjp-escalates-complaint-against-times-now-navbharats-zameen-jihad-show/



9. Jan 24, 2023 Fanning the flames of discourse over Ram Mandir Times Now Navbharat


“Rashtravad | 2024 में Ram Mandir का उद्घाटन… अभी हथौड़े’ की बात क्यों?”


Rakesh Pandey Removal of video, warning issued to the broadcaster against telecasting contentious debates and to be careful in selecting panellists for debates. https://cjp.org.in/cjp-moves-nbdsa-against-times-nows-inciteful-ram-mandir-show/
10. Dec 5, 2022 Encouraging the conspiracy theory of Muslims indulging in “Madrasa Jihad” Times Now Navbharat


“Madrasa Jihad’ पर बड़ा खुल़ास़ा, मजहबी त़ालीम क़ा ‘491 तंत्र”

Rakesh Pandey Removal of the impugned show, warning to the broadcaster to be more careful in the future The NBDSA held that “the findings of the survey conducted by the UP Government were used to allege that ‘Madrassa Jihad’ was taking place in the country, which created an impression that every madrassa is a breeding ground for terrorism and activities of similar nature. The tilt given to the findings of the survey was not only misleading but a violation of the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards.” https://sabrangindia.in/cjp-victory-nbdsa-delivers-order-in-favour-of-cjp-directs-removal-of-impugned-video-aired-by-broadcaster/



11. Oct 22, 2022 Mocking of a minority religion, religious intolerance during debate News18 India


“Desh Nahin Jhukne Denge Aman Chopra”

Aman Chopra Fine of Rs. 25,000 imposed by NBDSA along with removal of video NBDSA took serious objection to the language used by the anchor and the repetitive nature of the violations.  The NBDSA held the manner in which the debate was conducted to be condemnable and the statements made by the anchor to have the tendency to disturb the communal harmony in the country.





12. Oct 22, 2022 Prejudice against
ISlam and participation of Muslims in Garba events
Aaj Tak


“Black and White Show”

Sudhir Chaudhary Removal of the impugned show, warning to the broadcaster to be more careful in the future NBDSA raised strong objections to the generalisation made in the course of the show wherein the intentions of all the Muslims entering Garba pandals were “suspect” and “deemed to be malafide”. https://sabrangindia.in/cjp-impact-nbdsa-orders-aaj-taks-sudhir-chaudhary-show-to-be-pulled-down-censors-second/





13. July 28, 2022 Distasteful tickers showed against Teesta Setalvad after her arrest Times Now Edit the video of the impugned shows available on their website or on YouTube and remove the tickers: “Modi Baiter Arrested” “Lutyens ‘Fix Modi’ Plot Nailed?” within 7 days.


The order stated that the tickers used during the show were “neither necessary nor contextual and not in good taste as well”. https://sabrangindia.in/remove-distasteful-tickers-targeting-teesta-setalvad-nbdsa-directs-times-now/



14. Feb 15, 2022 Presence of communal themes and promotion of communal divide in the pre-election phase of UP News18 India


“Desh nahi jhukne denge – Hinduo ke khilaf mahagathbandhan”

Aman Chopra Fine of Rs. 50,000 imposed by NBDSA along with removal of video The order stated that the anchor, Aman Chopra, had crossed the threshold of impartiality by making divisive statements. https://sabrangindia.in/news-18-india-fined-rs50000-airing-communally-divisive-debate-show-nbdsa/



15. March 15, 2022 Spreading misinformation and communal hatred with its fake coverage News18


“Danke ki chot par-Toh hijab ke liye bomb barsenge?”


Rima Prasad Removal of video, warning for the broadcasters NBDSA noted in its order that The impugned programme had a tendency of disturbing racial and religious harmony. Since the broadcaster had not verified the facts and checked the veracity of the tweets before conducting a programme based solely on the said tweets, it had violated the principles of Accuracy, Impartiality, Objectivity and Neutrality enshrined under the Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards and the Specific Guidelines covering Reportage.” https://cjp.org.in/cjp-moves-nbdsa-against-news18s-fake-story-on-bombing-in-bengal-school/



16. July 23, 2021 Targeting one particular religious minority over India’s

backwardness and illiteracy, debate over population law


Zee News


“कुदरत बहाना है, मुस्लिम आबादी बढाना है? Taal Thok Ke”

Removal of video, warning for the broadcasters NBDSA noted that taglines shown during the show gave a tilt to the debate which created a perception that there is only one community which is responsible for the population growth in the country. https://cjp.org.in/cjp-impact-nbdsa-directs-zee-news-to-take-down-video-of-communal-show-on-population-control/



17. June 4, 2021 Communal content and misinformed reportage of alleged vaccine wastage incident Zee Hindustan


“कट्ट़ रपंथिय ं से सीधे सवाल

करने वाला बहुत बडा खुलासा | देश में कौन कर रहा है Vaccine वाला थिहाद ?”


Removal of video, warning for the broadcasters NBDSA noted that while reporting the same sensitive information, “it must do so accurately, in a balanced manner without giving any tilt to the news report.” https://cjp.org.in/cjp-writes-to-zee-media-against-their-vaccine-jihad-show/



18. December 1, 2020

A highly communal show called Conversion Jihad alleging forceful conversion of Hindus by Muslims.


News Nation


“Conversion Jihad”

Deepak Chaurasia


Removal of video, warning for the broadcasters The NBDSA concluded that the channel had only “made generalised submissions” and “failed to submit any specific reply to the grievances of the complainant.” It held that there appeared to be a lack of due diligence by the channel and it had displayed disregard for the Code of Ethics and Guidelines. https://cjp.org.in/cjp-approaches-nbsa-against-news-nations-conversion-jihad-show/
19. September 11, 2020 Sting operation conducted in a madrasa with minors, spreading hatred India Today


“Madrasa Hotpots: India Today Investigation”


Rahul Kanwal https://cjp.org.in/cjp-moves-nbsa-against-india-todays-sting-operation-on-madrasas/
20. May 7, 2020 Defamatory statements and smear campaign against Teesta Setalvad for visiting Shaheen Bagh


Times Now


Multiple shows

Removal of show, issued warning to not repeat the conduct in the future The NBDSA held that “the programme referred to in the complaint was devoid of objectivity.” It added, “The anchor must avoid pushing any agenda during the debate.” https://cjp.org.in/times-nows-show-on-teesta-setalvad-devoid-of-objectivity-nbdsa/



21. April 16, 2020


Encouraging suspicions over the Muslim population of Kashmir and the attempts to change the demography of Jammy Zee News



Jammu में ज़ मीन के ‘इस्लामीकरण ‘ का DNA टेस्ट ”


Sudhir Chaudhary NBDSA dismissed the complaint on the ground that it was filed beyond the period of limitation permitted under the Regulations


NBSA had noted that prima facie, the tone and tenor of the programme was divisive and that broadcast was targeting a particular community. https://cjp.org.in/cjp-complains-to-nbsa-against-zee-news-report-on-zameen-jihad/




22. Nov 27, 2019 Provocative statements made in regards to the Ayodhya-Babri Mosque case Aaj Tak


“देश के सबसे बड़े फैसले पर सबसे बड़ी बहस अयोध्या से Rohit Sardana के साथ”

Rohit Sardana Removal of video, warning given to broadcaster The NBSA had observed, “broadcasters would be responsible for violations for Broadcasting Standards and Guidelines in regard to the content of any programme aired on the channel; that neither any “disclaimers” before any programme nor the fact that offending statements/views expressed by independent anchors, invited guests or other participants, would relieve them from the liability/responsibility for violation of the Standards/Guidelines of NBA/NBSA”. https://cjp.org.in/cjp-impact-nbsa-pulls-up-aaj-tak-for-communal-content-during-ayodhya-verdict-coverage/



23. July 30, 2018 The show, a poetry meet or kavi sammelan, featured multiple poets who called for widespread violence against the population of Jammu and Kashmir, Zee News


“Kya Kehta Hai India”


Removal of video, warning given to broadcaster NBSA held that the broadcaster violated the “Specific guidelines covering Reportage No. 2 Impartiality, Neutrality & Fairness” https://sabrangindia.in/hate-watch-cjp-files-complaint-over-hate-filled-zee-news-segment/




Image Courtesy: newsdrum.in


CJP’s NBDSA Complaints 2023: How persistent monitoring put a check on unbridled hate, one channel at a time

CJP Impact! NBDSA orders removal of two Times Now Navbharat shows (videos)

CJP Impact! NBDSA orders AAJ TAK’s Sudhir Chaudhary show to be pulled down, censors second

CJP escalates complaint against Times Now Navbharat show on Gyanvapi Mosque to NBDSA


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