'Sach Ka Saamna' under government scanner, channel remains mum

By Bollywood Hungama News Network

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) STAR Plus is maintaining a no-comment stance over its controversial reality show "Sach Ka Saamna" that got high viewership ratings but is now under the government scanner after being hotly debated in parliament for its content.

"We would not like to comment on the issue as of now," an official from STAR Plus told IANS Thursday, a day after the issue figured prominently in the upper house of parliament.

Samajwadi Party MP Kamal Akhtar raised questions regarding the show's content in the Rajya Sabha and said the show that featured "unreasonable questions about a person's bedroom life" was against Indian culture.

Later, the ministry of information and broadcasting also issued a showcause notice to the channel for violating the programming code of the Cable TV Network Act of 1995.

STAR Plus has to respond to the notice latest by Monday.

Siddharth Basu, head of BIG Synergy Adlabs that is producing the show, said in response:

"I would not like to comment on the issue raised in parliament."

"I have the highest regard for the institution and its members and I am sure things will be well considered and due process will be followed," Basu said in an SMS message to IANS.

Based on the American show "The Moment of Truth", "Sach Ka Saamna" features contestants who have to answer 21 questions about their lives after undergoing a polygraph test that determines if an answer is true. A contestant with the perfect score gets to walk away with a prize money of Rs.10 million.

Celebrities like former cricketer Vinod Kambli and actress Urvashi Dholakia have already featured on the show and made some brave revelations.

For instance, Urvashi was asked if she was thrown out of college for teenage pregnancy. Though she said no, the question itself raised many eyebrows.

The premiere episode of the show, aired July 15, had received a stupendous response in terms of its Television Rating Points (TRPs) that stood at 3.4 percent as against 1.6 percent registered by the first episode of "Iss Jungle Se..." on Sony TV, according to data provided by television viewership tracker Audience Measurement and Analytics (aMap).

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has called a meeting with the broadcaster's bodies Indian Broadcasting Federation and News Broadcasters Association Thursday to discuss the issue.

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