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AAP govt moves court against 3 TV channels

MUMBAI: Three television news channels that allegedly aired doctored footage of the 9 February protests at JNU have been dragged to the court.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has moved the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Patiala House Courts, seeking action against Zee News, News X and India News.

Arvind KejriwalThe Delhi government has sought examination of its complaint under Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, The Indian Express has reported.

Citing news reports, forensic reports and the fact-finding report submitted by the New Delhi district magistrate that stated that three of the seven video clips were found to be doctored, the Delhi government has urged the court to take cognisance of the offences and ‘summon, try and punish’ the accused.

“The respondents named in the complaint include M/s Zee News, M/s Zee News Media Corporation Limited, M/s News X, M/s Information TV Private Limited, M/s India News and ‘other unnamed individuals’. The 12 respondents include editors-in-chief, managing directors and directors of the organisations named in the complaint,” IE reported.

Times Now has not been named as an accused in the complaint. But the AAP government has stated that the allegedly doctored video was shown on the channel on an electronic device held by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, who was a guest on a show on the channel on 17 February, IE reported.

“The accused knowingly and with malicious intent have caused damage and/ or injury to the students of JNU and to the JNU institution and have disrupted communal harmony, public tranquillity and security in Delhi by transmitting a forged/ fabricated/ doctored/ altered video(s ). These video(s) are forged/ fabricated/ altered in material form. It is evident that the doctoring, use, dissemination and broadcast of these videos were deliberate and intentional, and the accused persons thus created false document(s). They have used the… false documents as genuine. The accused persons are therefore liable for prosecution under Sections 465 (punishment for forgery) and 471 (using as genuine forged document or electronic record) of IPC,” the government said in its complaint.

The matter is scheduled for hearing on Monday.

According to the AAP government, the news channels violated the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 by altering or tampering with the video clips.

“It is apparent that the accused channels and the anchors showed the videos deliberately, without verification or authentication, bypassing even minimum standards of broadcasting and journalism, with malicious intent,” the IE quoted the government’s petition as having said.