Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court, was appointed Chairperson of Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) in February 2014. He took over from BCCC’s Founding Chair, Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, who was appointed Chairperson of Law Commission of India in November 2013.
Born on January 4, 1949, Justice Mudgal, an alumnus of Modern School, New Delhi, holds a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from Hindu College, Delhi University and an LLB from Law Faculty, Delhi University. He enrolled as an Advocate in 1973. He was an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court (1978-98) and Member Secretary/Treasurer of the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee (1986-95). He conducted cases in Civil Law, Constitutional Law, Labour Law and Public Interest Litigation.
Justice Mudgal was appointed a Judge of Delhi High Court on March 2, 1998 and elevated as Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court on December 5, 2009. He retired on January 4, 2011.
Justice Mudgal authored a book, Law and Sports in India, in December 2010. As a counsel in 1989, he successfully represented eight banned cricketers. He appeared as Amicus Curiae in the Supreme Court, including in cases on prison reforms, environment and gender justice. He was Member, National Legal Services Authority and Member, Governing Council of Indian Law Institute. He served as Honorary Secretary of International Law Association (India Chapter). He is a Member of Court of Arbitration for Sport, Geneva. Justice Mudgal visited South Africa as part of a delegation led by the Chief Justice of India and lectured at South African universities. He represented India in the ILA seminars in Rio de Janeiro and Toronto.
Justice Mudgal chaired the drafting committee for the National Sports Development Bill and the Doping Probe Committee constituted by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. He chaired the committee that proposed amendments to the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972. He was Advisor to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation for the Slum Dwellers Act and the Rickshaw Pullers Act. Justice Mudgal headed the one-man committee appointed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to probe the Walmart lobbying allegations and chaired the committee of experts to examine issues of certification under Cinematograph Act, 1952. The Supreme Court also appointed him Chairperson of the IPL probe committee.
Justice Mudgal has written widely on legal and sport issues, including separation of powers, Right to Information qua CBI, Powers of Press Council and DRS system in cricket. The International Cricket Council appointed him Independent Advisor to the Lord Woolf Committee. The External Affairs Ministry sent him as Advisor to the Enquiry Committee set up by the Maldivian Government to look into change of regime in the island-nation. Justice Mudgal has delivered about 100 Arbitration judgments as Judge of Delhi and Punjab & Haryana high courts. He has been appointed Arbitrator in more than 50 cases.
Mr. Bhaskar Ghose
Mr. Bhaskar Ghose has been a Member of BCCC since its inception. Educated in Mumbai and Delhi, he joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1960 and was assigned to the West Bengal cadre. As an IAS officer, he served in various capacities, both in West Bengal and with the Union Government. Mr. Ghose held key positions like Director General-Doordarshan, Secretary-Department of Culture and Secretary-Ministry of I&B. Mr. Ghose has been a Visiting Fellow of Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. An accomplished author and columnist, he has written for many publications, including Hindustan Times, The Telegraph, The Pioneer and Frontline. His books – ‘Doordarshan Days’, ‘The Service of the State: The IAS Reconsidered’ and ‘The Teller of Tales’ – have won wide acclaim. Mr. Ghose is a keen theatre person. He has acted in and directed over 40 plays. Married to well-known Indian classical dancer and choreographer Ms. Alarmel Valli, Mr. Ghose lives in Delhi.
Ms. Shabana Azmi
In all times to come, the saga of Indian cinema, theatre and television cannot be told without a mention of the pioneering work done by Ms. Shabana Azmi, a founder Member of BCCC. She has guided the self-regulatory body with her valuable insights and was instrumental in making the recent BCCC interactive session on portrayal of women a grand success. A keen observer of Indian television, Ms. Azmi never fails to attend BCCC’s meetings. An alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, she has been the leading light of the ‘new wave’ Indian cinema. She has appeared in more than 125 films. For her stellar performances, Ms. Azmi has won the National Film Award for Best Actress a record five times. She has also received four Filmfare Awards, besides innumerable international and national acclaims, including the Padma Shri and the Martin Luther King Professorship of University of Michigan. Daughter of eminent poet Kaifi Azmi and renowned theatre personality Shaukat Azmi, the BCCC Member has been a committed social and women’s rights activist. She has also been a Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Population Fund and a Rajya Sabha Member. She is married to poet-screenwriter Javed Akhtar. Ms. Azmi attended Queen Mary School in Mumbai, and obtained a degree in Psychology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
Mr. Vir Sanghvi
Well-known journalist, editor, writer and television personality, Mr. Sanghvi has been a Member of BCCC since its inception. He has immensely contributed to the Council’s functioning from a free speech perspective. Born in London, educated at Mayo College (Ajmer) and Mill Hill School (London), he won an Open Scholarship to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1978, at 22, Mr. Sanghvi was appointed editor of the Bombay magazine, making him India’s youngest editor. In 1983, he led the re-launch of the features magazine Imprint. In 1986, at 30, he became editor of the newsmagazine Sunday. In 1999, he was appointed editor of the Hindustan Times, a position he held till 2003, after which he continued as its Editorial Director. In 2007, Mr. Sanghvi accepted an advisory role with HT Media. He has anchored Question Time for Doordarshan and Round Table for DD-CNN. In 1997, he switched to the Star Network, where he anchored A Question of Answers, Star Talk, Veer Ke Teer and Cover Story. His most recent show Achiever’s Club aired on Star World in 2011-12. He has also anchored shows on the NDTV network, including Face The Music, One On One, and Custom Made. Mr. Sanghvi’s books include ‘Men of Steel’, ‘Rude Food’, ‘Madharvaro Scindia – A Biography’ and ‘India – Then and Now’.
Mr. Wajahat Habibullah
Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, former Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and first Chief Information Commissioner of India, joined as a Member of BCCC for the second time in January 2015 in the eminent persons’ category. His earlier stint in the Council was in the ex-officio position as Chairperson of NCM. Mr. Habibullah had a distinguished career as an IAS officer, serving in key positions in his cadre and home state of Jammu & Kashmir, with the Union Government as well as on foreign assignments. He was appointed CIC in October 2005 after the enactment of the Right to Information Act. An alumnus of Doon School and St. Stephen’s College, Mr. Habibullah is also a Masters in History from University of Delhi. He was a Member of BCCC since its inception and left the Council in January 2014 to return a year later. He provides valuable insights on all aspects of television programming, particularly minority-related content. Mr. Habibullah has been Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC. Besides being Secretary to the Government of India, he was also the Director of the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. Mr. Habibullah served as Minister, Community Affairs, Embassy of India, Washington DC and as Minister, Education at the same Embassy.
Dr. Panna Lal Punia
Dr. P.L. Punia, who represents Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh) in the 15th Lok Sabha, is a Dalit leader and Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC). He has been a Member of BCCCC since its inception. A Masters from Panjab University (Chandigarh), Dr. Punia holds a PhD from Lucknow University. A former Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer, he held key positions as a civil servant from 1971 to 2005. As an MP, Dr. Punia has been a Member of the Committee on Rural Development, Rules Committee, Consultative Committee on Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Committee on Labour. In July 2012, he appeared on popular television show ‘Satyamev Jayate’, where his views on discrimination against Dalits were well received. As NCSC Chairperson, Dr. Punia is committed to ensuring that development schemes for the SC population are implemented and every penny is appropriately spent. He outlines implementation of reservations at all levels as his priority.
Appointed a Member of National Commission for Women (NCW) in April 2012, Ms. Shafiq was nominated as a Member of BCCC in April 2013. She did her schooling at Christ Church College, Lucknow, and graduated in Arts. An MA in English Literature, she also holds a Bachelors degree in Education. She has been a political and social activist, working in the field of women’s empowerment and children’s education. Ms. Shafiq’s work in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in her home district of Sitapur (UP) won appreciation from the rural populace. Organizing over 8000 women from the grassroots stimulated her to fight against gender discrimination. She conducted mass marriages of thousands of couples from different castes. Ms. Shafiq has also been National Vice-President of Vishwa Dalit Parishad (India), General Secretary of All India Muslim Backward Class Federation and General Secretary of UP State Muslim Educational Society.
Mr. Kharventhan joined as a Member of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on 3 November 2010. He has been a Member of BCCC since its formation. Hailing from a family of agriculturists in Dharapuram (Tamil Nadu), he has twice been elected to the Lok Sabha. A Mathematics graduate from St. Joseph’s College in Trichy, Mr. Kharventhan obtained a law degree from Madras Law College in 1975. He enrolled as an advocate in the Tamil Nadu Bar Council and became Vice Chairman of Bar Council of India in 1998. He attended the 23rd International Young Lawyers Conference held at Lisbon (Portugal), 24th conference at Vancouver (Canada) and 25th conference at Copenhagen (Denmark). Mr. Kharventhan played an active role in the struggles of Tamil Nadu farmers during 1977-84 and also fought court cases on behalf of the peasantry. He was adjudged among “top three performers” (all sessions combined) in the 14th Lok Sabha.
Mr. Deepak Jacob is President & General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs at STAR India Private Limited, a responsibility he assumed in August 2011, having joined the broadcasting company as its Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs in February 2008. He has been a Member of BCCC since July 2012. Before joining STAR India, Mr. Jacob, who holds a Bachelors of Arts & Law degree from the University of Madras, was Head Legal & Compliance at eBay. His earlier stints include those of Legal Counsel, Broadband & Corporate Wireless at Reliance Communications, Senior Associate with Kochhar & Co and Junior Counsel with Narula & Chaddha Advocates, an assignment he took up in January 1994.
Mr. A. Mohan
Broadcast Member - Zee Network
Mr. Mohan, who joined as BCCC’s Broadcast Member in August 2013, is President (Legal & Regulatory), Zee Network, since April 2003. He has wide knowledge of the broadcasting industry and represented IBF as a Member of the Task Force constituted by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to implement digitization. An alumnus of Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Mr. Mohan, a commerce graduate and FCA, led the dialogue process with the US India Business Council (USIBC) during the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington DC in 2009. He led the Indian contingent on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) dialogue process.
Mr. Amit Grover
Broadcast Member - Discovery
Mr. Amit Grover joined BCCC in November 2014. He is a part of Discovery Network’s Asia – Pacific legal team and has been managing the legal affairs for Discovery Communications India, as an in-house counsel since November 2012. He was earlier associated with the legal team of New Delhi Television Limited for 5 years and has also worked with various law firms. Mr. Grover, a business and commercial lawyer is an alumnus of the Faculty of Law, Delhi University. He is also a qualified Company Secretary and a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
Ms. Shobhna Bajaj
Broadcast Member - Turner Intl. India Pvt. Ltd.
Ms. ShobhnaBajaj joined BCCC in November 2014. She is Executive Director and Senior Counsel at Turner International India Private Limited. Ms. Bajaj has been associated with the media and broadcasting industry for sixteen years. She has been working with Turner since September 2005 except for two and half years, when she worked for an international hospitality company, Marriott International Inc. She started her career as an attorney with Karanjawala and Co. and went on to work as an in-house counsel for Star India Limited. Ms. Bajaj is an alumnus of Warwick Law School, United Kingdom and Campus Law Centre, Delhi. She is also a qualified Company Secretary and a member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
Ms. Arundhati Nag
Special Invitee, BCCC
Ms. Nag is a renowned multilingual theatre and film personality. A highly talented contemporary actor, she has appeared in more than a thousand performances in different languages like Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada. Her tryst with the stage began almost four decades ago with Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA). Ms. Nag, who was married to the late theatre personality Shankar Nag of Malgudi Days’ fame, was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010. She is a recipient of the 57thNational Film Award for her role in the Hindi movie Paa. Ms. Nag was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2008. She is also the founder, managing trustee and creative director of Sanket Trust, which was established in 1992 and runs the popular Rang Shankara Theatre in Bangalore, a space dedicated to nurturing affordable theatre. She joined BCCC as a Special Invitee in July 2013.
Ms. Tara Murali
Special Invitee - BCCC
Ms. Tara Murali graduated from Madras University in architecture (B.Arch) and has been a practicing architect for over 40 years.
She is the managing trustee of Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), a non-profit organization that works on consumer & environmental issues and good governance. She is also an executive committee member of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and vice president of The Children’s Club, Chennai.
She has earlier been secretary of Indian Institute of Architects -Tamil Nadu Chapter, vice president of the Palani Hills Conservation Council, director of Chennai Heritage, trustee of Jeevan Blood Bank and Stemcell Research Centre and president of Tamilnadu Table Tennis Association.
She has been involved in critiquing the master plans for Chennai and has also worked with the planning agencies on preparation of regulations for Chennai and the hill stations of Tamilnadu. She was a member of the Monitoring Committee appointed by the Madras High Court for the restoration of the Adyar Creek and Estuary.
She joined BCCC as a Special Invitee in July 2013.