Is Sting operations Justified? by: Rajesh Chopra.  LiveIndia.Com
Sting Operations
New Delhi, October 18
The Supreme Court today raised a question mark on the “sting operations” being conducted by various TV news channels and wanted to know whether these were done with real public interest in mind, or were aimed at raising the TV rating points and also involved money transactions.

This was stated by a Bench of Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Mr Justice C.K. Thakker and Mr Justice R.V. Raveendran on a petition on behalf of CNN-IBN news channel Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai mentioned before it against his summoning by the Uttar Pradesh Assembly for breach of privilege.

The Assembly had taken exception to certain derogatory references about UP ministers in the sting operation telecast by CNN-IBN.

Sardesai’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi said that the petitions were in the process of being filed against the UP Assembly resolution ordering that he be brought before it after arrest.

He had appeared before the Assembly once, but on the next date he could not due to some professional exigency, the counsel explained.

But it was strange that the Assembly treated his non-appearance as breach of privilege, Rohtagi said, contending that non-appearance did not constitute breach of privilege of the House.

The court permitted filing of the petition and said it would be taken up tomorrow if the required process was completed.

However, it observed that it had been found that these types of sting operations were sold for lakhs of rupees. “Whether they are in public interest will have to be answered one day,” it said.

Rohtagi said most of the sting operations were outsourced and TV channels were only telecasting them.

But the court said even if they were outsourced, the person doing so goes to different TV channels to sell the so-called sting operations. Could it then be described as outsourcing in real term, it asked.

In this context, it referred to a sting operation showing purported conversation of Union Minister Manik Rao Gavit with a person in jail, regarding which it was mentioned that it was fabricated.

The court said the string operations could be done but sincerely and in public interests.
Is Sting operations Justified? by: Rajesh Chopra.  LiveIndia.Com

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