News18 India fined Rs 50,000 for its coverage of Karnataka hijab ban case

The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority has imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on News18 India TV channel for covering the Karnataka hijab ban case. The right law on wednesday

Controversy over the hijab ban erupted in December after a group of Muslim students at the Government Women’s Pre-College College in Udupi, Karnataka, were suspended from classes for wearing the headscarf.

As the issue snowballed, the Karnataka government issued an order on February 5 that students would have to wear the uniform prescribed by their schools and pre-university institutes. The Karnataka High Court upheld the ban in March and in October, the Supreme Court issued a split verdict on petitions challenging the decision.

The order was passed by the Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority following a complaint filed on April 10 by a man identified as Indrajeet Ghorpade. News Laundry. The aforementioned session was given on April 6.

Ghorpad alleged that News18 India’s Aman Chopra had referred to Muslim students as “hijabi gang” and “hijabwali gazwa gang” while making “false allegations that they resorted to license”.

After receiving a response to News18 India’s complaint in September, the news regulator directed the channel to remove the show from its website and all its platforms within seven days.

The order said the Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority could find no justification for linking panelists who spoke out against the show’s ban to the terrorist group Al-Qaeda through graphics that read, “#AlQaedaGangExposed”, “Hijab ka fata poster”. , nikla Al Qaeda” and “Al Qaeda has planned the hijab controversy”.

The news regulator also noted that the show linked panelists to former al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling him a “Zawahiri gang member” and “Zawahiri’s ambassador”.

The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority rejected the channel’s response, saying they were allegedly used to promote hijab supporters and not to students protesting the ban.

The news regulator said that Chopra not only violated the Code of Conduct and the Broadcasting Code, but also failed to comply with Bombay High Court’s orders in the Nilesh Navalakha v. Union of India case, which had asked anchors to exercise their discretion and stop the programme. stray beyond the permitted boundaries, including muting the speaker if necessary.

The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority said the anchor did not prevent the panelists from crossing the line and allowed them to express extreme views that could affect communal harmony in the country.

The news regulator also said that if these violations continue, it will ask Chopra to appear before it.

In another order, the news regulator pulled up News18 India for its coverage Demolitions of JahangirpuriSaying that he also violated the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards.

The issue is related to the Bharatiya Janata Party-controlled North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s order in April to raze several Muslim-owned shops and properties in Jahangirpuri, saying they were built illegally. The search began four days ago when communal violence broke out in the town when a Hindu religious procession armed with guns and swords passed a mosque.

The demolition collection, however, was suspended by the Supreme Court. However, an hour after the court ordered the municipal authorities to stop the demolitions and maintain the ‘status quo’, a bulldozer destroyed the entrance gate and stairs to a mosque in Jahangirpuri.

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