The Delhi High Court on Monday sought responses from News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and the Central government on a plea by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) claiming that it received several letters from consumers complaining about their viewing experience because of excessive advertisement on various television channels..The submission was made by TRAI before the Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh through an intervention application filed in a petition by NBA pending before the High Court challenging rule 7(11) of Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 (CTN/Cable TV Rules). The said rule limits the length of advertisement on TV channels to not more than 12 minutes in an hour and reads as follows:“No programme shall carry advertisements exceeding twelve minutes per hour, which may include up to ten minutes per hour of commercial advertisements and up to two minutes per hour of a channel’s self-promotional programmes.”The NBA has argued that the rule is ultra vires Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution on freedom of speech and expression..Advocate Maneesha Dhir, appearing for TRAI, informed the Court that it is already a respondent in a bunch of similar petitions challenging the Standards of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisement in Television Channels) Regulations 2012 and Standards of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisement in Television Channels)(Amendment) Regulation 2013. The regulations were notified by TRAI and Regulation 3 of the same also limits the advertisement time to 12 minutes in an hour..The regulations were challenged by several channels arguing that the TRAI has no power to regulate the length of advertisement on TV channels and “regulating advertisement is nothing but regulating free commercial speech guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution”.In its intervention application, TRAI has now said that Cable Television Network Rules were brought in by the parliament therefore, “there is a statutory mandate regarding maximum duration of advertisement that can be shown in an hour”..The application added that TRAI should be allowed to assist the court in adjudication of the NBA’s petition since its outcome will affect the regulations framed by it. “It is submitted that when the statutory Regulator appears before this Hon’ble Court, it does so not in its own interest but in order to protect the public interest,” read the application.The Court clubbed the NBA’s petition along with those already pending before it and asked NBA and Centre to respond to the TRAI's intervention application. The case will now be heard on December 23.