GHAZIABAD: A First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged here against two television news channels for allegedly broadcasting "false stories" following a complaint by the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA).
The GDA has alleged that the Hindi news channels had aired stories, levelling charges of Rs two crore bribery against its vice chairperson, based on one-sided version.
However, the channels -- Samachar Plus and News 1 India -- have refuted the allegations, saying they had tried to reach out to the GDA chairperson Ritu Maheshwari but she was not available immediately for comments.
One Trilok Agarwal had made a complaint to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office, alleging that he had paid Rs 50 lakh to the GDA Secretary and the same amount to enforcement department as bribe to stop the sealing action launched by the authority against illegal construction at the site of a builder, Anil Jain.
This news story was then broadcast by news channels Samachar Plus and News 1 India, Senior Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Krishna said.
Executive Engineer R P Singh has made the complaint to the police on behalf of the GDA, alleging that the channels had broadcast "false news" to blackmail the authorities, malign the image of the state government and administrative officials.
The FIR -- naming the chief editors and the local correspondents of the news channels -- has been lodged at Sihani gate police station under various IPC sections, the SSP said.
GDA Vice-Chairperson Ritu Maheswari told PTI that news aired by the channels shows their "blackmailing mentality" and is a "criminal act".
The Executive Editor of Samachar Plus, Praveen Sahni, said the story is based on the compliant of the victim and the channel had sought the version of GDA vice chairperson but she did not attend their call.
"The complaint (as mentioned in the story) was sent to the Prime Minister's Officer and the UP Chief Minister's Office also," he added.
The Editor-in-Chief on News 1 India, Anurag Chaddha, said the story his channel aired was based on the victim's complaint.
"It was not false or gossip.
Our local correspondent had tried to contact Maheshwari but she was not available," he said.
Meanwhile, builder Anil Jain has made a complaint to the district magistrate against Trilok Agarwal and his wife Shalini Agarwal, alleged extortion attempt.
An FIR on Jain's compplaint has been lodged at Kavi Nagar police station.
Jain also contradicted the allegations levelled in the complaint of Agarwal and said that he has not paid any amount to any official to get undue favour from the GDA.
Investigations in both cases have been initiated, SSP Krishna said.