The News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) directed Zee News to take down videos and links from all platforms pertaining to a November 2021 news broadcast on a complaint filed by activist Shehla Rashid suggesting that it lacked impartiality, objectivity and neutrality.
Rashid had complained against a show where her biological father made wild allegations against her, her sister and their mother while suggesting that she had been involved in terror funding. Rashid submitted that her father's allegations were nothing but an attempt to defame her.
"Further, not only had the broadcaster failed to approach the complainant (Rashid) for her version, prior to telecasting the impugned programme but by making only a fleeting reference to her denial of the allegations, the broadcaster had also failed to adequately present her version. In any case, the Authority noted that to broadcast the version of the complainant available in her social media posts was not sufficient compliance of the Guidelines," the order passed on March 31 read.
NBDSA Chairperson Justice (retired) A.K Sikri observed that allegations made by Rashid's biological father were not connected with the visuals shown in the final broadcast relating to JNU. NBDSA stated that the programme appeared to give the impression that Rashid was involved in anti-national activities.
"…such generalised statements are violative of the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards and Guidelines relating to Impartiality and Objectivity in reporting. The broadcaster should be careful in future while making general accusatory statements in any of its broadcasts," the regulatory body said.
The NBDSA further directed Zee News to exercise caution and warned it against "making general accusatory statements in any of its broadcasts."
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