Journalist Barkha Dutt has threatened to take criminal and civil action against veteran Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal for allegedly refusing to honour her contract with HTN Tiranga TV.
Taking to Twitter, Barkha wrote, “My last word on @NewsHtn saga. I will initiate criminal and civil proceedings against @KapilSibal and wife for cheating and fraud & refusal to honour contract. I hope the staff whom I support fully is able to get compensation of 3 months. Irony:Parliament media debate tomorrow.”
My last word on @NewsHtn saga. I will initiate criminal and civil proceedings against @KapilSibal and wife for cheating and fraud & refusal to honour contract. I hope the staff whom I support fully is able to get compensation of 3 months. Irony:Parliament media debate tomorrow
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 17, 2019
Her latest threat to pursue the matter through the legal route came a day after she launched a stunning attack against Sibal and his wife Promila Sibal accusing them of sacking ‘200 employees’ of HTN Tiranga TV and confiscating their equipment. She had also accused Promila Sibal of addressing the female staff of the channel as kutiya or bitch.
The National Commission for Women had taken cognizance of her tweets and said that it had received a complaint from Barkha on the matter. A tweet by the NCW had stated, ” “Received complaint from @BDUTT against Promila Saibal of @NewsHtn alleging her for abusing female staff members including Barkha. Taking cognizance on it.”
— NCW (@NCWIndia) July 16, 2019
Both Kapil Sibal and his wife have rejected Barkha’s allegations. Speaking to The Wire, the Sibals said that HTN staff had been paid salaries till the end of June adding that they had adhered to the ‘terms of the contract’ with regards to announcing compensation for those losing jobs in the channel.
Meanwhile, the controversy also reached the parliament after a BJP MP raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha. BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha alleging misbehavior with a woman journalist of a private news channel and asked Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to refer the matter to the ethics committee of the House if any member was suppressing the voice of the media.
Raising the issue through a “point of order” during zero hour, reported PTI, Yadav said, “We do not want to interfere in any private organisation, but if a woman is misbehaved with and employees are not paid, it is the responsibility of parliamentarians to protect the freedom of speech”.