The Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Thursday advised TV news channels to refrain from giving platform to those belonging to proscribed organisations or facing charges of terrorism and serious crimes.
In an advisory to all private satellite TV channels, the ministry said it has come to its notice that "a person" in a foreign country who faces serious cases of crime including terrorism was invited for a discussion on a television channel.
The ministry's statement was evidently referring to the interview of Sikhs for Justice general counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannu by ABP News.
During the discussion, the person made several remarks detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, its security and friendly relations with a foreign state, the ministry said, without naming the person or the news channel.
The remarks of the person also had the potential of disturbing public order in the country, the ministry added.
While the government upholds media freedom and respects its rights under the Constitution, the content telecast by the TV channels must adhere to the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the ministry said.
"In the light of the above, television channels are advised to refrain from giving any platform to reports/references about and views/agenda of persons of such background including those against whom there are charges of serious crimes/terrorism and belonging to organizations which have been proscribed by law, having regard to the reasonable restrictions laid down under Article 19(2) of the Constitution and mentioned under sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the CTN Act," it added.