BARC India sets up independent disciplinary council under Justice Mukul Mudgal

29 Mar,2017

By A Correspondent


BARC India, the joint industry body running television and soon digital measurement, has set up an independent disciplinary council to further strengthen transparency and credibility of its measurement system. The six-member BARC India Disciplinary Council (BDC) will investigate and address complaints related to viewership malpractices and tampering of BARC India’s measurement system.


The BDC will be headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, Former Chief Justice, Punjab & Haryana High Court, and has D Shivanandan, Former Mumbai Police Commissioner and DGP Maharashtra, and Paritosh Joshi, Independent Technical Expert as its members. Sujeet Jain, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Viacom18; CVL Srinivas, CEO South Asia, GroupM and PankajPhadnis, AVP Corporate Legal, GCPL are the other members, representing the three stakeholder bodies – IBF, AAAI and ISA.Justice Mudgal, it may be recalled, headed the committee to look into inefficiencies in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League. Meanwhile, Paritosh Joshi has held senior positions in the broadcast sector including helming India TV recently and now as an advisor to the Sun TV network. Joshi was part of the BARC technical committee from the time it was set up.


The committee, it is learnt, shall ordinarily meet once in a month or at any other frequency as required but the Chairperson may at any time call an extraordinary meeting, if he considers it necessary to do so. Most meetings will be held at BARC’s office in Mumbai, but they could also be conducted via video conferencing, we hear.


BARC India has already set up a Vigilance Team to probe viewership malpractices complaints, as well as investigate abnormal viewership data recorded from BARC India Panel Households. The Disciplinary Council will independently examine Vigilance Team reports, and where culpability is clearly established, it will be empowered to order punitive action appropriate to level of offence. The action could range from written warning and a fine for first level offence, to suspension of viewership data for three months, leading up to termination of BARC India’s contract with subscriber.


Alongside setting up of the high-level BDC, BARC India has re-drafted terms of the contract it signs with its subscribers. This has been done to address limitations in the current End User License Agreements (EULA) and strengthen legal provisions that will allow the BDC to act against viewership malpractices. The updated EULA will soon be circulated to all BARC India subscribers, and they would be required to sign them.


“The BDC is a step forward in our commitment to ensuring transparency, and eradicating this long existing malpractice of panel tampering. We hope to build further credibility in our processes and systems under guidance of JusticeMukulMudgal. The independednt council will also benefit from the advice of a seasoned law enforcement expert like Shivanandan, and the continued support of industry stakeholders,” said Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India.


Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.