The News Broadcasting and Digital Standards Authority has said that a Zee News show on JNU scholar Shehla Rashid was not objective or impartial and showed only one side of the story, Live Law . It directed the channel to remove the video from their website, YouTube channel and other links.
Passed on March 31, the order referred to a , which aired on November 30, 2020, and in which Rashid’s father Abdul Rashid Shora made several allegations against her, her mother and sister. He also alleged that Rashid was involved in terror funding while the channel showed the JNU scholar address a crowd on the university campus.
NBDSA chairperson Justice (retired) A K Sikri observed that the allegations made by Rashid’s father and the visuals related to JNU shown during the broadcast had no connection.
On the show, Shora alleged, “She (Rashid) is involved in wrong and unlawful activities.” He claimed that he had received an offer of Rs 3 crore from Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali and former MLA Rashid Engineer to make his daughter join the Jammu Kashmir People’s Movement. Referring to the party, Shora went on to say, “Once investigated, there will be 100 percent involvement of terror funding and foreign funding.”
When anchor Aditi Tyagi asked Shora why he turned on his own daughter, he said, “She was going on the wrong path.” Interestingly, Shora had charges of domestic violence against him at the time – he denied these on the show. The channel, on its part, did not bother to reach out to Rashid for her views.
After the interview with Shora, Tyagi went on to discuss the developments with Zee News Srinagar correspondent Khalid Hussain and reporter Jitender Sharma from within the newsroom. The show discussed Rashid’s tweets addressing the domestic abuse charges against her father, but no direct inputs were taken from her regarding her father’s allegations.
In the order, the NBDSA noted that, “Not only had the broadcaster failed to approach the complainant for her version, prior to telecasting the impugned programme but by making only a fleeting reference to her denial of the allegations, the broadcaster had also failed to adequately present her version.
“The Authority observed that such generalised statements are violative of the code of ethics and broadcasting standards and guidelines relating to impartiality and objectivity in reporting. The broadcaster should be careful in future while making general accusatory statements in any of its broadcasts.”