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Govt notice to channel on ‘sting’
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 12
Even as the Delhi High Court sought explanation from the Centre as to what action has been taken by it against TV channel “Live India” for allegedly faking a sting operation against a woman school teacher accusing her of indulging in a prostitution racket, the government has issued separate notices to the channel seeking specific response from it.

In the first notice issued yesterday, the ministry of information and broadcasting has asked the channel to furnish complete details about the sting operation against city government school teacher Uma Khurana, and in the second it was asked to explain how the channel has changed its name from “Janmat” to “Live India” without clearance from the ministry, an official spokesman said.

Stating that the ministry has taken serious view of the matter, he said the channel management has been given three days time to submit its reply.

Meanwhile, the high court sought complete details about the action taken or being taken against the TV channel.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice M.K. Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Khanna sought the government’s explanation in the face of the Delhi Police giving clean chit to Khurana and the arrest of Live India’s correspondent Prakash Singh, who had carried out the “fake” sting operation.

The court was not impressed with the government counsel’s reply that the notices had already been served on the channel by the ministry, as it asked the government as to under which provision of law the notices were served on Live India.

The court went a step further to seek explanation from the government as to what steps were being contemplated in the Broadcasting Bill to regulate the electronic media against such sting operation, which has the potential of causing irreparable damage to the reputation of a person.

“If the sting is concocted, it is your responsibility to take action. Some restrictions has to be there. It is not about a particular case but about the broader policy,” the court said, pointing to the government counsel that there had been much talk about the Broadcasting Bill and what had come out of it.

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