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Journalist sacked after seeking implementation of recommendations against corporate ownership of media houses

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Date : 08/06/2016

Pankaj Srivastava v TV18 Broadcast Limited & Anr, Delhi High Court

A senior journalist, Pankaj Srivastava approached the Court praying direction to immediately implement the recommendations made by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the issues relating to Media Ownership and to maintain at all times fairness, non arbitrariness and non discrimination in the reportage of news and in the doing of programmes particularly in respect of political parties and social issues and to avoid at all times being partisan and one sided. Network 18, a media and entertainment company that included TV18, was taken over by Reliance Industries in 2014 and underwent a major leadership change.

This biggest takeover of a media company was widely covered in press and attracted criticism by commentators. Questions were raised that plurality of opinion and objectivity will be a casualty if biggest corporate house owns a biggest media company. While giving a wide coverage to Reliance Industries takeover concerns were raised in media on its implications on free and fair journalism.

Among many others, Pankaj Srivastava was sacked from his services without any notice or prior information in an arbitrary and illegal manner.

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