Dainik Bhaskar Appeals Against Cobrapost’s Sting Operation, Delhi High Court Blocks The Expose
May 25th, 2018
The Delhi High Court has served an injunction order on a sting operation video by Cobrapost called Operation 136: Part 2 yesterday. The video was supposed to be shown in the Delhi Press Club today at 3 pm.
In Part 1 of the sting operation, Cobrapost showed how many Indian mainstream media houses took money in exchange to run pro-Hindutva news. A total of 16 news organisations were stung including India TV, Dainik Jagran, Hindi Khabar, SAB TV, DNA (Daily News and Analysis), Amar Ujala, Punjab Kesari, ScoopWhoop and Rediff.com, reported Newslaundry.
Cobrapost announced the release of the video a few days ago. In a tweet, they said “some of the biggest names in the Indian media ready to peddle paid news”.
Cobrapost Investigation: Operation 136: Part II. Watch big names in Media happy to run paid content irrespective of its nature which is highly malicious, on tomorrow, 25th May at Press Club of India, Raisina Road, New Delhi, at 3:00 pm.https://t.co/Owioxob3fC pic.twitter.com/RQorfiNaCH
— Cobrapost (@cobrapost) May 24, 2018
The injunction order was put after Dainik Jagran approached the court saying the video was being released with the sole intention of maligning the image of the organisation. As The Quint reported, Dainik Bhaskar said that the documentary’s release would lead to “irreparable loss and injury” to its reputation, “which cannot be undone.”
The court has set the next date of hearing on July 4 and has asked them not to make the information in the video public.
Astounding, absurd&gross violation of freedom of Speech!Judge of Delhi HC grants an ex-parte injunction against Cobrapost restraining it from airing the expose of Media on a petition by Dainik Bhaskar, w/o seeing expose! Ridiculous! At least we know that Bhaskar group was stung! https://t.co/1Ur5VIeVQF
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) May 24, 2018
Operation 136: Part 1
A sting operation released by Cobrapost on March 26 purportedly showed certain media houses ready to polarise stories in exchange for a fee.
The sting, called Operation 136 after India’s 136th rank the World Press Freedom Index, was executed out by journalist Pushp Sharma posed as Acharya Atal, who introduced himself in some of the meetings as belonging to an Ashram in Ujjain and in others as representing some Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Prachar Samiti.
“Most of them (media houses) not only agreed to do what he asked for but also suggested myriad ways for undertaking a well-orchestrated, overtly communal media campaign on behalf of their prospective big-ticket client,” said Sharma.
The investigative operation shows employees of 17 media houses agreeing to polarise stories and maligning many senior Opposition leaders, BJP leaders and Union Ministers in lieu of proceeds ranging from Rs 6 crore to Rs 50 crore.
Representatives of the said media houses were also offered money to “rake muck” on some prominent names in the legal fraternity, brand the agitating farmers as Maoists and also raise questions on judicial orders.