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UP assembly drops contempt proceedings against Rajdeep Sardesai

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Dec 4 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh assembly today dropped contempt proceedings against CNN-IBN head Rajdeep Sardesai after the matter related to a sting operation by the news channel was resolved in the Speakers' chamber in the presence of the latter and other leaders.

Earlier, Mr Sardesai was summoned by the House in connection with contempt of house for not cooperating with the probe into a sting operation conducted by the channel in February last.

After four hours confabulations in the presence of Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey, Leader of the Opposition Lalji Tandon, Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari and Rajdeep Sardesai, it was decided to withdraw contempt proceedings.

Mr Sardesai, who expressed regret over the entire episode, said his regret was for the procedural delay in presenting himself as summoned by the house, but he still stood by the merit of the news broadcast.

The speaker clarified the probe ordered against the three sitting legislators shown in the sting opeartion would continue.

The state assembly had unanimously resolved on contempt against Mr Sardesai for not appearing in person or handing over the original CD to the house committee probing the sting operation.

In the presence of chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, the entire house had taken a strong exception to the channel's role for its non-cooperation into the probe.

An 11-member committee on September 14 had presented its interim report recommending summoning the channel head. Committee head P K Rai said even after several requests, Mr Sardesai did not appear before it nor supplied the original CD of the sting operation.

On February 15, news channels CNN-IBN and Channel 7 had telecast the sting operation on three MLAs -- Mahboob Ali (SP), Somaru Ram Saroj (BJP) and Anil Kumar Maurya (BSP), who were purportedly shown indulging in corrupt practises including hawala and drug peddling.

Meanwhile, the original CD of the sting had already been handed over to the house before the contempt proceedings against the senior journalist was declared as 'dropped'.

UNI MB/SB VS MIR ND1706

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