Will TV news channels show Kejriwal ‘live’ again?

ambani_keriwal_0111

SHARANYA KANVILKAR writes from Bombay: India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, and India’s most powerful business house, Reliance Industries, are believed to have served a legal notice on several TV news channels for airing anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal‘s allegations against them in October and November last year.

However, it is not known if Kejriwal, a former IRS officer, and his advocate-partner, Prashant Bhushan, have heard from RIL’s lawyers on the charges made by them at the  press conferences which were covered “live” by the TV channels with accompanying commentary.

It is also unclear if  newspapers which reported Kejriwal’s allegations of Ambani’s Swiss bank accounts and hanky-panky in the Krishna-Godavari basin by RIL have attracted similar legal attention from the less-litigious of the two Ambani brothers.

In the seven-page legal notice shot off in the middle of December 2012, Mukesh Ambani and RIL have demanded “a retraction and an unconditional apology in the form approved and acceptable to our clients” within three days from the receipt of the notice.

The notices have been served by the Bombay legal firm, A.S. Dayal & Associates.

***

Besides accusing the channels of “deliberately and recklessly” airing “false and defamatory statements” with an intent to “defame our clients and bring them into disrepute”, the legal notice makes the following points:

# “Your TV Channel provided a platform and instrumentality for wide dissemination of the false and defamatory statements and allegations made at the said press conference.”

# “Live telecast of these press conferences amounts to permanent publication of defamatory material relating to our client by you.”

# “Each of the two press conferences were telecast live without making any attempt to verify the truth or veracity of the statements and allegations being made during the press conference.”

# “Apart from having telecast the press conferences live, Your TV Channel  in the course of several television programmes and televised debates that followed after the said press conferences, continued to telecast, transmit and retransmit the defamatory footage of the press conferences.”

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More ominously, the Ambani-RIL notice reminds the channels:

# “Our clients have instructed us to state that Your TV Channel is bound by the Guidelines for Uplinking and Downlinking from India dated 5th December 2011, issued by the ministry of information & broadcasting, government of India.

# “Our clients have instructed us to state that since Your TV Channel is a news and current affairs TV Channel, the provisions of the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines apply to Your TV Channel, which inter alia provide that a Company, like Your TV Channel, which runs a news and current affairs TV channel, is obliged to comply with the Programme Code as laid down in the Cable Television Network (Regulations) Act, 1995, and the Rules framed thereunder.

# “Our clients have instructed us to state that in telecasting the aforesaid press conferences and repeating the false and defamatory material relating to our clients in the manner aforesaid Your TV Channel is in complete violation of the said Uplinking Guidelines, and the said Downlinking Guidelines as also in complete and material breach of the Programme Code prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules.”

***

The RIL legal notice brings to question the wisdom of broadcasting “live” Kejriwal’s near-weekly press conferences towards the end of last year, sans any filters or fetters.

On the other hand, the authoritarian tone of the legal notice—reminding the recipients of uplinking and downlinking norms—throws light on the egg-shells on which private TV stations are walking in the “free” Republic.

The legal notice also swings the spotlight on big business ownership of and shadow over the media, especially when it is alleged to have both the main political parties, the Congress and BJP, in its pocket.

For the record, RIL is in the media business too. Both CNN-IBN and IBN7 are part of the Reliance stable following a controversial and circuitous takeover at the turn of 2012 that now has earned the OK of the competition commission of India (CCI).

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Photograph: courtesy IBN Live

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Also read: ‘RIL has no direct stake in media companies’

Mint says SEBI looking into RIL-Network18/TV18-ETV deal

Rajya Sabha TV tears into RIL-Network18-ETV deal

Will RIL-TV18-ETV deal win SEBI, CCI approval?

The sudden rise of Mukesh Ambani, media mogul

The Indian Express, Reliance & Shekhar Gupta

Niira Radia, Mukesh Ambani, Prannoy Roy & NDTV

Why the Indian media doesn’t take on the Ambanis

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35 Responses to “Will TV news channels show Kejriwal ‘live’ again?”

  1. s k muthanna Says:

    Small fry taking the biggest shark head on has to pay a price of being consigned into the oblivion! When Muk Amb has played such a card as saving the TV Channels, he would obviously not spare the Kejriwal for his damned expression, however true it is. I think, Kejriwal is finished !!

  2. Deepak Says:

    Kejriwal has converted a powerful anti-corruption movement into a farce.His press conference are hit and run cases. Take out of some old hat, organise a press conference and throw muck around the place – get TRPs and publicity and vanish from the scene!! Big joke!!

    And Ambani has socked it hard to the media, who will now not allow Kejriwal to get his dose of publicity!!

    Kejri’s TRP plans are in big trouble now!!!!

  3. harkol Says:

    Wonder if TV channels will cave in. They have no reason to worry as:

    1. Ambani needs to show there was an intent to malign him by TV channels in reporting what someone else had alleged. That’s a tough ask. When a news channel reports an allegation they do the same – it doesn’t mean every person who is alleged can go sue the channel. They are only the messengers.

    2. What was alleged has to be false. That’s not known yet. If Ambani goes to court, HSBC & Revenue officials will be summoned and asked to produce the list obtained by govt. If they refuse that’s reasonable doubt in favor of the accuser, as what he has alleged hasn’t been proven false.

    Besides, HSBC is unlikely to get off as easily in court, as Govt. which can claim ‘foreign obligations’. Besides, I believe Kejriwal & Bhushan are hoping this will go to court!!

  4. tkb1936rlys Says:

    it is sad reading.But big corporate can twist and apply the screw on media at any time.what will Katju say? where are the 10% people? bala

  5. Arjun Kapoor Says:

    Finally, someone broke the conspiracy of silence. I would like to thank the person who dared to write this blog post. This was needed to be done by the media houses but since they are all with Mr. Ambani, we cant expect much from them. Now, even if someone tries to kill Arvind Kejriwal we won’t come to know as all news channels have unanimously decided to not to cover him in the NBA’s last meeting. Google search, “Arvind Kejriwal exposes Media & Corporate Nexus” and watch the youtube video. You will get more answers. India ka kuch nahi ho sakta, we need to kick this Ambani out, who has become rich on our hard earned money.

  6. Nagar Says:

    Mukesh Ambani knows very well that his CORRUPT activities have been exposed.

    Mukesh knows that all the ALLEGATIONS made by Kejriwal are not just ALLEGATIONS but are 100% true with DOCUMENTARY evidences.

    Sonia Gandhi has stashed $ 5 Trillion in foreign accounts.
    Mukesh, Vilas Rao Deshmukh, Ahmed Patel, Hassan Ali are all CUSTODIANS of the looted treasure.

    If the ALLLEGATIONS raised by Kejriwal are BASELESS, it does not require a LEGAL EXPERT to tell him that the notices should have been sent to Kejriwal but not to the MEDIA.

  7. pravin dhameliya Says:

    It is not the case of just allegation..If kejrival do not have enough sustainable evidences he should not speak.Else truth will prevail..

  8. Real Indian Says:

    whole india know they all r chor but do something against them in next electionsssss… jai hind

  9. sumit Says:

    Ambani brothers this is a big saying..you have to pay at the end what you have done in life…and the time has come..social media is more powerful then indian media and you can not send legal notice to facebook or tweeter..kejriwal has ignited a lit and it is not going to finish so early…poor you

  10. amitkhedkar Says:

    media are totally paid or thretened bu mukesh ambani and the government they will nor show arvind kejriwal live!!!finaaly congress bjp are mukesh ambani private shops!!!jai ho APP

  11. salman Says:

    my vote will against congress..bcz is reponsible for evry corruption,evry crime,happend in india.rape,blatkar,loc matter,mahngai..nt is single solution of these problem.

  12. rajiv singal Says:

    PLEASE WRITE IN HINDI ALSO.

  13. Ansh Gupta (@webloggerz) Says:

    don’t worry…the power of aam aadmi will ruin power of money

  14. LV Merchant Says:

    These traitors in White collars have gone far beyond civilized world, Can you believe Pramod mahajan used to hold large crunch of shares of RIL, for which CA was assigned, So there is a clear link between politicians-n this Business Nexus time to open a can of worms, Well dont question me i was a Xemployee of RIL

  15. Soma Visal Says:

    By the way, how long could you depend and rely upon the media channels? Do Indian channels act in an unbiased manner really?

  16. MP Patel Says:

    Then,how to know about latest News about Arvind Kejriwal and his team ? Answer: Internet is and will be always free !!
    Official Website: http://www.aamaadmiparty.org
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aamaadmiparty
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/aamaadmiparty

  17. kiran kapoor Says:

    We all understand that media is manipulated. But don’t know what to do, how to change. Ambani types will run charities, use media for self-praise, why not earn the proper way, be patriotic, for a great IIndia.

  18. Asha Singh Says:

    देश का बेडा गर्ग कर दिया है | लोग आज भी बीजेपी जैसी बकवास और भ्रस्ट पार्टी के हिस्सेदार वाली पार्टी को आचा बता रहे है | क्योकि डेल्ही में में केजरीवाल को रोकने के लिए टीवी बंद करा दिए गए है | पता है न | तो बनो मुर्ख बोलो बीजेपी की जय |

  19. ramchandramohanty Says:

    aamaadmi party must solve the problem get ready aamaadmi to cast vote not for mon but for conscience

  20. vik Says:

    ambani …. have stolen money of common peop,le

  21. justasking Says:

    The legal jargon allude me from understanding this. What is uplinking and downlinking? Can you simplify?

  22. HA Says:

    people who are saying that Kejriwal had not possessed enough evidences should know that in another meeting in a Times group, he had publicly revealed the Swiss Bank Account numbers of Ambani brothers…..which was a sort of tight slap to this entire system which is supporting AB. No one had dared yet what this guy and his team had done, but still there are few hypocrites who feel it justifiable to throw dirt on such people [AAP]. Nobody is clean in this society but there is a difference between not being clean by will [AB ] and not being clean by conditions[AAM AADMI].

  23. Doddi Buddi Says:

    we need FDI in media in India! QED

  24. brijesh Says:

    Mukesh Ambani knows very well that his CORRUPT activities have been exposed.

    Mukesh knows that all the ALLEGATIONS made by Kejriwal are not just ALLEGATIONS but are 100% true with DOCUMENTARY evidences.
    If theALLLEGATIONS raised by Kejriwal are BASELESS, it does not require a LEGAL EXPERT to tell him that the notices should have been sent to Kejriwal but not to the MEDIA.

  25. GAURAV KUMAR Says:

    arvind sir didn’t aired anything . he even told their acc. no.s & cleared that they now have paid tax also for their accounts. he has put all these before all parties. now it’s question of who will prove it right ot wrong ??? arvind sir from his side has revealed the cause of corruption—- he won’t be able to put RIL in jail,it’s “parties” who can do that. now most of congressi comments here are just sucking personalities…AAP HAS COME & we will truely change everything !!!!!! beware budds……(ended congressi prsnlties) & hold on my friends …(who r fighting agnst corruption).

  26. senthil Says:

    ALLOW THIS MATTER TO COURT, THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT. I CAN BET AAP PARTY WILL COME OUT AS WINNER.

  27. GEORGE.K Says:

    RIL IS SUCKING BLOOD OF INDIA

  28. Virendrasinh Says:

    Stop

  29. arjun Says:

    U meet anybody employed wid these Empires & U will hear a lot of logics which prove these Empires the real Heros & anybody bringing their facts in front of pple r unanimously Corrupt according 2 them…
    Do’nt worry, every day is followed by a Dark night & vice versa…
    Ram Bharosey Hindustan…

  30. sunil Says:

    if god is there then i pray to god let the reliance divide into many(not just into two) and finally it shall be rooted out

  31. Sunil Sareen Says:

    Mukesh Ambani is one of the main culprits of corruption-lead high inflation in the country.

  32. Biswajit Says:

    in bussiness and politics two khandani corrupt family is sitting. Perfect combination of power and money to tacle any obstacles from aam admi. News channels are too small to take them against.

  33. JITENDRA PARIKH Says:

    ALL POLITICIAL HAVE CONNECTION WITH INDUTRALIST IN THIS COUNTRY SO CORRUPTION WILL NOT BE STOP.

  34. N.K.DORAISWAMY Says:

    Bring a strong Lok Pal Bill as put forward by ANNA team. All the corrupt would be punished. Long Live Aam Aadmi Party.

  35. news live Says:

    I think news channels will cover all the news about Kejriwal live….

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