Delhi government has served defamation notices to two media houses namely India Today group and ANI for what it termed was false reporting and deliberate exercise of ‘spreading lies.’
A Delhi government source said that the notices to both Aaj Tak and ANI were sent a few days ago and ‘we are waiting for their response now.’
He said, “We’ve asked the channel to apologise and dedicate the same airtime in telling the audience that its reporting on the so-called onion scam was misleading and far from the truth as much as they had given in broadcasting the lies against us. Should the channel fail to do so, we will formally file a defamation case of up to Rs 500 crore.”
Speaking to reporters on 20 September, deputy chief minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia had accused the famous Hindi news channel of attempting to defame the Aam Aadmi Party led goverment in the capital.
Delhi government later also placed full page advertisements in major newspapers ‘exposing the lies by Aaj Tak’ on onion procurement.
Delhi government had rubbished the report of a scam and described the report carried by Aaj Tak ‘defamatory and misleading.’
Sisodia had said that the channel was ‘falsely’ accusing the Delhi government of selling onions at an inflated price.
He had also ‘vowed’ to take legal actions against the ‘culprit’ media houses.
The government statement had said, “it has been brought to the notice of Delhi Government that false, misleading and defamatory news items have appeared in sections of the print media, which are also being aired by some TV news channels about pricing of procurement of onions.
“Delhi Government strongly denies these malicious reports and condemns desperate attempts by a section of the media to create confusion in the minds of the people.”
The Delhi government source said, “ANI’s reporting was based on the ACB chief MK Meena’s TV bytes. And despite Meena not taking name of the honourable deputy CM, the agency went ahead and reported about Shri Sisodia allegedly awarding contracts to his relatives. It was a bad and irresponsible piece of journalism.”
jantakareporter.com contact both Aaj Tak and ANI for their reactions. Aaj Tak did not respond to our repeated requests for a reaction while the ANI’s Editor, Smita Prakash said, “It’s a legal matter, so I would not like to speak on this issue.”