Defamatory news: Popular Front filed complaints against TV channels

Popular Front of India filed complaints against the TV channels India Today, Aajtak and Times Now for telecasting defamatory news about the organisation, before the National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) which is a self-regulatory body headed by Justice R.V. Raveendran.

The INDIA TODAY, AAJTAK and TIMESNOW have been continuously telecasting the myths, false allegations, blanket lies, substandard news against the Popular Front with ulterior motives. They were trying to pose the organization in the bad light among the public.

NBSA administers the Codes of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards, which has been voluntarily drawn by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) for its member broadcasters to demonstrate their commitment to responsible broadcasting and to self regulate themselves. It says in its code that channels should also strive not to broadcast anything which is obviously defamatory or libelous. News channels must ensure that allegations are not portrayed as fact and charges are not conveyed as an act of guilt.

But none of these norms were followed by these three channels while leveling certain allegations against Popular Front. In contra, they have conducted the media trial and passed judgments, which is unfair, unethical and against principle of natural justice. Instead of maintaining the neutrality, they were serving for the fulfillment of particular interests. The dignity of the organisation was damaged through the political vendetta of these channels. It is crystal clear that they were attempting to create religious hatred among the public.

Prior to initiating these complaints, as the part of the process, the General Secretary of Popular Front of India Mr. Mohamed Ali Jinnah had sent letters to these channels two weeks back requesting to tender an unconditional apology to be aired and to withdraw the false allegations.

Since, they didn’t respond, he filed the complaints before the NBAC. “Our legal fight against the unethical, substandard false propagations of any such media will continue. No democracy permits such media trials, which creates prejudiced public opinion. They pretend themselves as the judges by evading the principles of natural justice” – Mr. Jinnah said.

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