The Uttar Pradesh Assembly today passed a resolution that no action should be taken against a private broadcaster over the airing a sting on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. During the term of the previous Assembly, a House panelhad probed the sting operation and held officials of the TV Today group guilty of breach of privilege of Azam Khan, then a senior minister. Khan is a member of the current Assembly as well, representing the Rampur constituency. A resolution about not taking any action against the channel was moved by the state Parliamentary Affairs minister Suresh Khanna and was passed even as the opposition remained absent.
“Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. I present a resolution to not take action against Aaj Tak and Headlines Today on the recommendations of a House committee for airing a sting on 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots,” Khanna said.
In the previous Assembly also, the BJP, then in opposition, had raised questions on constitution of the committee that had recommended action against the channels. The party had also staged a walkout on the issue. Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit informed the House that on February 23, 2016, the House had summoned functionaries of the channels for their version but later, on March 4, 2016, the Supreme Court had stayed the proceedings.
He said that the next hearing on the matter in the Supreme Court is on August 1 and the Assembly’s view will be put before it. With opposition members not present, the resolution was passed unanimously. In its report, the committee had recommended action against the staffers, as well as against police and administration officials, for their alleged conduct before the team of TV journalists involved in the sting operation. The Supreme Court however later stayed the proceedings initiated by the UP Legislative Assembly. The court order had come on a plea filed by the journalists who challenged the UP legislative committee’s order that held the channel guilty of breach of privilege as it failed to provide the original raw footage and camera used in
The court order had come on a plea filed by the journalists who challenged the UP legislative committee’s order that held the channel guilty of breach of privilege as it failed to provide the original raw footage and camera used in th sting operation.