Action Against Live India News channel....

Live India channel banned for airing alleged fake sting 

New India, Sept. 20(PTI): Live India news channel has been banned by the government after it came under the scanner for its alleged 'fake' sting operation implicating a school teacher in a sex racket in the Capital. 

The ban, effective from today, prohibits transmission and re-transmission of 'Live India' (the new name for Janmat TV), on all platforms throughout the country till October 20. 

The Information and Broadcasting ministry invoked Sub-section 2(iv) of Section 20 of Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, which says the government can ban a channel in the interest of "public order, decency or morality." 

An official statement here said the government took action on "the satellite channel namely 'Janmat' (assumed name Live India)" which telecast an "admittedly doctored" sting operation on Uma Khurana, a Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya teache, in Darya Ganj. 

"The telecast of said sting operation was defamatory, deliberate, false and contained suggestive innuendos and half-truths; incited violence and contained content against maintenance of law and order," the statement said. 

"It criticised, maligned and slandered an individual in person and it denigrated children and was irresponsibly aired by the channel without exercise of due diligence in preliminary verification of the facts of the case," it said. 

What action against channel, HC asks government 

New Delhi, Sept 12: With the police giving a clean chit to a local school teacher Uma Khurana in the fake sting operation case, the Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the centre as to what action it is "contemplating" against "Live India" channel which has also been issued a show-cause notice by the government. 

"What action the government is contemplating against the channel," asked a division bench comprising Chief Justice M K Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Khanna in the wake of Delhi police evidence that the channel's sting operation was "stage managed" and that woman teacher Uma Khurana was not involved in any organised prostitution racket. 

Not satisfied with the centre's submission that a show-cause notice has been issued against the channel, the bench observed: "under which provision of the law, you have issued show cause notice. If an offence is committed, you have to register a case and start criminal proceedings". 

The government informed the court that the information and broadcasting ministry had yesterday issued the show cause notice to the channel, Live India, directing it to respond within three days why action should not be taken against it. 

The court was making its observation in the case relating to sting operation against the teacher in which the Delhi police presented a status report saying, "Ms Uma Khurana has not been found to involved in any organised prostitution racket of school girls as shown in the sting operation and that part of the sting operation was stage managed".

A look at the events that unfolded over the past week: 

-Aug 30, 2007- Private television channel airs sting operation of Delhi Government school teacher Uma Khurana, alleging that she forced her students into prostitution. 

Hundreds of angry parents and protesters force their way into the school in central Delhi and thrash Khurana.

Protesters damaged vehicles and clash with the police. Over 22 people, including policemen, were injured. Delhi Police register suo moto FIR against Uma Khurana, accusing her of immoral trafficking.

-Sep 1, 2007- Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely announces the sacking of Uma Khurana, on the recommendation of the special enquiry committee led by the Education Secretary. 

-Sep 2, 2007- Delhi Police arrests small time businessman Virender Arora in connection with the Uma Khurana case. Virender Arora arrested from his trans-Yamuna residence following a disclosure by Uma that he had provided the girl who was shown in the sting operation 

-Sep 3, 2007- Delhi Police interrogate driver of the van in which the sting operation to nail Uma Khurana was carried out. Delhi Police also claims that role of channel which carried out the sting is under investigation. The police claim the channel is not helping with investigations. 

-Sep 4, 2007- Investigation in the Uma Khurana case handed over to crime branch

-Sep 05, 2007- Doubts begin to surface over the sting operation on school teacher Uma Khurana, police sources say that they have found that Uma owed over Rs 1 lakh to Virender Arora, the businessman who was arrested on charges of supplying a girl to her. 

As she was not repaying the money despite several reminders, the police suspect that Virender decided to frame her. Police sources also say that girl shown in the sting operation is an aspiring journalist known to the reporter who conducted the operation, and not a school girl or a prostitute. 

-Sep 06, 2007- Is the private channel's sting operation a hoax? Delhi Police arrests girl shown in the Uma Khurana sting operation, accusing her of giving false evidence. 

Police also records statement of journalist who conducted the sting operation. Police sources also say they have found no evidence against Uma Khurana, to prove she was involved in a sex racket.


News channel's sting backfires, 'sex racket victim' held
New Delhi, September 07, 2007.
A week after a sting operation claimed to have busted a sex racket operating in Delhi, the police on Thursday night arrested the woman who posed as the victim on charges of cheating.

In the sting conducted by local news channel Live India on a government school teacher last week, Rashmi Singh had posed as a schoolgirl alleging Uma Khurana – the teacher at the Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya – pushed her and other girls into prostitution. 

The accused, Rashmi Singh, had posed as a schoolgirl alleging that teacher Uma Khurana pushed her and other girls into prostitution. All this was said, recorded on film and telecast by Live India, a television news channel.

That was on August 30. Public outrage followed. The schoolteacher was attacked by a mob, sacked by the education department and arrested by the police. The city was shocked. And the news channel gloated.

The police now say a Live India reporter staged the sting using Rashmi as the accuser. She is neither a schoolgirl nor a sex-worker. The police said she is an aspiring journalist who lives in Noida.

Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said Rashmi has been charged with cheating, impersonation, criminal conspiracy and giving false evidence. “Action against the channel is now imminent,” said a senior officer.

Live India CEO and editor Sudhir Chaudhary told HT on Thursday that he will give his comments after consulting his lawyer. Later, he stopped taking calls on his mobile phone.

Khurana, meantime, is going to spend more time in judicial custody unsure of what her fate is going to be. Or how soon can she expect to be released from judicial custody.

What about the education department? Will it now withdraw the dismissal orders served on Khurana hastily the day after her arrest? For them Khurana was guilty even before she went on trial.

Education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely told HT on Thursday: “I can only comment once I receive the official report from the crime branch.” He had earlier said, “The government’s enquiry committee watched the CD and found that our students were not involved in the racket. But the principal of the school’s Bulbuli Khana branch identified the woman shown in the sting. She was Khurana and that is why we sacked her.”

It has been an easy incident for the city to handle. On day one, Delhiites watched the story roll on their television sets with a growing sense of shock and anger: a schoolteacher pushing her girls into prostitution. People, including many parents, responded with understandable outrage. The school was attacked and Khurana was manhandled. The news channel went to town with what it clearly thought was its crowning glory.

From day two the case started looking at a little weak. HT, in fact, had reported that the girl in the sting was neither a schoolgirl nor a prostitute. Soon word came from the police that the reporter was being questioned.

The channel took on critics. Chaudhary said, “In almost all such operations, reporters assume fake identities to carry out the sting effectively.” 

Police was not convinced and began talking to the journalists behind the sting. Another person, Virendra Arora, was arrested.

Then the case just collapsed. Khurana apparently owed Arora some money, which became the cause of a dispute. This lay at the heart of the sting.
source -

Action Against Live India News channel


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