Court asks channel CEO to appear over fake sting operation

April 7th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) A city court Monday asked the CEO of Live India news channel to appear before it May 29 for airing a fake sting operation that accused Uma Khurana, a schoolteacher, of running a prostitution racket. Earlier in the day, the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Jindal issued bailable warrants against CEO Sudhir Chaudhary and the chairman and managing director (CMD) of the channel as they had failed to appear before it.

The warrants were withdrawn after the channel’s counsel submitted that another official would stand in for the CMD. Judge Jindal also exempted Chaudhary from appearing Monday and set May 29 as the next date of hearing.

Khurana, a teacher at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya here, had filed a defamation suit against Live India, holding it responsible for putting her through “mental agony, humiliation and harassment”.

The TV sting operation aired Aug 30 last year purported to show that Khurana, a mathematics teacher at the government-run school in central Delhi, was running a prostitution racket involving schoolgirls.

Immediately after the channel aired it, 41-year-old Khurana was arrested on charges of immoral trafficking, was sacked from her job and was badly abused and assaulted by a mob.

A week after the fake sting was aired, it was found to be a hoax as the woman shown as a prostitution racket victim was not even a student but an aspiring journalist. Live India’s reporter Prakash Singh, who carried out the operation, was arrested Sep 8 last year.

Once the sting operation was found to be fake, a trial court Nov 21 had absolved Khurana of all charges.

In her complaint, Khurana alleged that Chaudhary had full knowledge that the fake sting would defame her if aired, but still went ahead with it to malign her.

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