THE SUPREME Court on Friday granted protection from arrest to Zee News editor Rajnish Ahuja in connection with a programme about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, which was broadcast by the television channel.
Issuing notice to Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, where FIRs were lodged in this connection, and the Centre, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and J B Pardiwala directed that there shall be no coercive action against him concerning the FIRs already registered or future ones on the matter.
His counsel said that the channel had taken down the video after realizing that there was an error.
Earlier, the court had granted protection from coercive action to journalist Rohit Ranjan, who anchored the show “DNA” on July 1, 2022. He had told the court that the channel received a video from another news agency and that it was handled by a trainee producer. When the channel realised that there were factual inaccuracies, the show was retracted and an apology was expressed on air.
Ranjan had tweeted on July 5 that a team of Chhattisgarh Police personnel had arrived at his residence to arrest him without informing their local counterparts. The same day, he was taken in for questioning by Noida Police following a complaint filed against two of his colleagues on behalf of the Zee Media Corporation, over the allegedly doctored video.
The top court has now tagged the two petitions together.