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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
India bans faked report channel
By Jyotsna Singh
BBC News, Delhi

Protests in Delhi after the sting operation
There were violent protests in Delhi after the TV report
An Indian television news channel has been taken off air for a month after broadcasting a false "sting" which led to riots and a woman being jailed.

India's Broadcasting Ministry said the report on Live India had been "defamatory, deliberate and false".

Delhi teacher Uma Khurana was accused of forcing students into prostitution. Police later said the report was faked.

Live India is the first news channel to be banned in India. The station says it was misled by its reporter.

The case follows a number of other so-called stings in which people allege they have been framed and has led to renewed calls for India's media to be regulated.

Experts blame a highly competitive media environment where 24-hour news channels are fighting for revenue and viewers' attention.


The Information and Broadcasting Ministry said on Thursday that Live India, also known as Janmat, had breached the Cable Networks Regulation Act, 1995, by broadcasting "an admittedly doctored sting operation" on Ms Khurana.

The said sting operation... criticised, maligned and slandered an individual in person and it denigrated children
Broadcasting ministry

The channel has been taken off air until 20 October.

"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," a statement from the ministry 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.

"Therefore, the central government thought it necessary to prohibit transmission or re-transmission of the said channel throughout the country."

Ms Khurana was ordered to be reinstated in her job by the Delhi high court earlier this month.

There were riots in the city and a mob attacked the school at which Ms Khurana worked, dragged her out and assaulted her after the secretly-filmed tape was broadcast on 30 August. She spent 10 days in prison.

A police investigation later revealed the sting had been faked and the teacher falsely accused.

The undercover journalist, Prakash Singh, who made the report has been arrested.

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12 Sep 07 |  South Asia
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22 Dec 04 |  South Asia
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17 Nov 03 |  South Asia

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