Mumbai: Following a writ petition filed by actress Rakul Preet Singh in the Delhi High Court over offensive coverage linking her to drug syndicate, News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) slammed TV news channels and directed them to remove any such reports and videos from their websites and social media.
The news channels mentioned by NBSA are Zee News, Zee 24 Taas, Zee Hindustani, TimesNow, India Today, AajTak, India TV, News Nation and ABP News.
The said coverage was with respect to the investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Several news channels reported that actress Rhea Chakraborty had named Rakul Preet Singh as part of their drug syndicate in her statement to the Narcotics Control Bureau.
Although Rakul Preet Singh was called for questioning, there is no proof of her being a part of such syndicate. Rhea Chakraborty also denied naming Rakul Preet Singh in her statement. This part was missing from the coverage by most TV news networks.
After Rakul Preet Singh approached the Delhi High Court seeking action against news channels under Cable TV Networks Regulation Act, the HC directed NBSA to pass orders on the complaints.
NBSA asked Zee News, Zee 24 Tas and Zee Hindustani to air a public apology on December 17 before 9PM prime time news. Other news channels were slammed over coverage with respect to the use of insensitive hashtags, taglines and images and were issued a warning for violating the code of ethics.
All news channels have been asked to retract related coverage and remove videos from their YouTube channels.