Decision – Khalsa Television Limited
Ofcom has imposed financial penalties of £20,000 and £30,000 on Khalsa Television Limited in relation to its service KTV for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules. The £20,000 penalty relates to a music video. The £30,000 penalty relates to a discussion programme.
On 4, 7 and 9 July 2018, KTV broadcast a music video for a song called Bagga and Shera. In our Decision published on 25 February 2019 in issue 373 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin (PDF, 1.6 MB), Ofcom found that the music video was an indirect call to action for Sikhs living in the UK to commit violence, up to and including murder. It also included brief flashes, which, when slowed down, revealed frames of on-screen text. It appeared therefore to be seeking to influence viewers by conveying a message to them or otherwise influencing their minds without their being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred. Ofcom found this content breached Rules 2.3, 2.11 and 3.1 of the Broadcasting Code.
On 30 March 2019, KTV broadcast a live discussion programme, Panthak Masle. In our Decision published on 18 November 2019 in issue 391 of the Bulletin (PDF, 832.5 KB), Ofcom found that this programme provided a platform for several guests to express views which amounted to indirect calls to action and were likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder. Ofcom also found that it included a reference to the proscribed terrorist organisation the Babbar Khalsa, and which in our view could be taken as legitimising it and normalising its aims and actions in the eyes of viewers. Ofcom found this programme breached Rules 2.1, 2.3 and 3.1 of the Broadcasting Code.
Ofcom has imposed the following sanctions on the Licensee:
- financial penalties of £20,000 and £30,000;
- a direction to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom; and
- a direction not to repeat the music video or the discussion programme.