Channel ordered to apologise to Ranjitha
In a significant ruling that is likely to set a precedent in cases involving privacy of an individual, the self regulatory body of entertainment channels has asked a private channel to apologise to actress Ranjitha Menon for showing a “morphed” video featuring her in a compromising position with Swami Nithyananda.
Justice AP Shah (retired)-led self regulatory body, Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC), directed the channel ‘Star Vijay’ to apologise to Ranjitha Menon for telecast of its programme ‘Nadanthadhu Enna Kutramum Pinnaniyum’ on 21 March 2012. The channel has been asked to run a scroll featuring the apology every two hours on its channel for seven days starting September 9.
The order delivered on Monday said, “In the Council’s opinion, the channel is guilty of violating the complainant’s privacy and dignity and is consequently liable to apologise to the complainant, Ranjitha Menon. This Programme was found to be in violation of the self-regulatory guidelines of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). The channel has clearly undermined the basic rights of the complainant.”
Ranjitha Menon had earlier filed a writ petition before the HC of Karnataka against several respondents saying certain clippings on the programme ‘Nadanthadhu Enna- Kutramum Pinnaniyum’ telecast by STAR Vijay TV, depicting her in a compromising position with Swami Nithyananda.
As Star Vijay was an entertainment channel, the HC routed the complaint to BCCC by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with a CD of programme.
“The programme not only used her name liberally but also continued to reinforce it on viewers by using her public film photos, videos repeatedly which were totally unconnected. This conduct of the channel totally disregards the complainant’s reputation, honour and basic rights of existence,” said BCCC’s order.
The order said the channel did not exercise any caution, as the telecast was without confirming the authenticity. Even its contention that it was creating awareness, then where was the need of constantly make references to the complainant and show her completely unconnected videos from public life, the order questioned.