NDTV dismisses Anand’s charge in sting operation


New Delhi : Reacting to senior lawyer R. K. Anand's charge of defaming him by telecasting a sting operation regarding the sensational BMW case, NDTV news channel said Saturday it had not received any notice yet.

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Anand had claimed Friday that he had served a legal notice seeking Rs. 500 million as damages from the news channel.

In response to Anand's allegation, the channel's managing editor, Barkha Dutt said NDTV would be handing over all unedited footage to the Delhi High Court in compliance with the court's directions.

Anand is the counsel for Sanjeev Nanda, the main accused in the controversial BMW hit and run case. He and senior advocate I. U. Khan, now dropped as special public prosecutor, were shown in the NDTV video clipping as allegedly trying to influence Sunil Kulkarni, a witness in the case.

Demanding an apology for misrepresentation of facts, Anand said the channel had put its reputation at stake by relying on Kulkarni, whose character and intentions have been doubted by the court, media, police and NDTV itself.

Dismissing Anand's allegation, Dutt said, "We have clarified already on our channel that no money has been paid to Kulkarni nor did he ask for any money, car, hotel and other expenses".

Dutt said the content of the story including the scripting, presentation and the angles of discussion had been NDTV's editorial decision and not Kulkarni's.

She said Anand's allegation that NDTV had transferred the powers of journalism to Kulkarni is baseless.

On the contrary, despite having given consent earlier, Kulkarni had asked NDTV not to broadcast the tapes.

"We disregarded this in the interest of justice. While NDTV cannot vouch for the integrity of Kulkarni as a witness, it did not alter the larger alarming questions raised about the role of the public prosecutor and the defence lawyer," she said.