House panel to summon pvt news channel managers

An all-party committee of the UP Assembly probing the sting operation into alleged political interference during the Muzaffarnagar riots, Tuesday sought to summon the executives of the private news channel, which aired it. The panel accused the channel of not cooperating in the inquiry and termed it a breach of privilege of the House.

All parties, except

BJP, supported the resolution to summon the channel's executives by voice-vote after the committee, led by SP MLA Satish Kumar Nigam, tabled the interim report in the Assembly.

"In spite of several reminders, the news channel did not furnish the raw footage. The concerned reporter and the cameraman also did not appear before the committee affecting the probe and this act should be treated as breach of privilege," Nigam said.

He said the manner in which the electronic channel did correspondence "is also against the dignity of the House". Nigam said prima facie the managing editor of the channel "is guilty and should be asked to provide the raw footage."

Leader of the BJP Legislature Party Hukum Singh and MLA Laxmi Kant Bajpai, however, objected saying the fourth pillar of democracy was being maligned and demanded a discussion on the report.

Bajpai also questioned the constitution of the committee, which has no representation from his party.

Hukum Singh said: "If you consider it as an act of breach of privilege, them summon them. But, a parliamentary committee in Delhi is already probing into the issue and we should wait till that committee gives the report," Singh said, adding the channel had requested that once the parliamentary probe was over they would provide the footage.

Minister Ambika Choudhary said it was a matter of the dignity of the entire House and said the sting was "stage-managed".

The SP members also got unexpected support from Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya.

... contd.

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