Live India banned for a month for sting operation

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New Delhi, Sep 20 (UNI) The Government today slapped a one month ban on private satellite TV channel Janmat, operating by the ''assumed name'' of Live India, which had carried out the infamous fake sting operation alleging that a Delhi school teacher was forcing her students into prostitution.

''The telecast of an admittedly doctored sting operation on Mrs Uma Khurana, a teacher of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Darya Ganj, Delhi was defamatory, deliberate, false and contained suggestive innuendos and half-truths,'' the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said today.

The telecast incited violence and contained content against maintenance of law and order. It criticised, maligned and slandered an individual in person and denigrated children and was irresponsibly aired by the channel without exercise of due diligence in preliminary verification of the facts of the case, the Ministry said.

''Therefore, the Central Government thought it necessary to prohibit transmission or re-transmission of the said channel throughout the country wih effect from today,'' it said.

The action has come under Sub-Section (2) of Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi had earlier said that the channel had changed its name without permission from the Government, but today's order of the Ministry did not state what action had been taken against the channel for violation of the licensing norm.

An Inter-Ministerial committee had earlier found the channel guilty of violating programme code under cable television laws by carrying out the sting operation and recommended for the ban.

The telecast of the sting operation had led to a mob fury in the capital last month.

The teacher was assaulted by angry parents and residents and sent to jail but was later released as police investigation revealed that the reporter who carried out the sting operation used an aspiring journalist to pose as a schoolgirl and accuse the teacher of running a prostitution racket. The two were also jailed, but have now come out on bail.


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