Live India is an Indian Hindi TV channel owned by Broadcast Initiatives Ltd., focusing on news and commentary. The channel came in the limelight for wrong reasons when it conducted a sting operation covering a porn racket by a school teacher which was later proved fake by a high court verdict. It was earlier known as Janmat, when it was focused on "views"; now the channel is sometimes called Live India (Janmat).
In a Rs. 400 million upgrade in August 2007, it opened news bureaus at Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Guwahati as well as its earlier offices at Mumbai and Delhi.
Sudhir Chaudhary is the CEO of Live India.
Schoolteacher sending girl students into prostitution 'expose'
On August 28, 2007, the channel aired a sting operation covering a porn racket run by a schoolteacher in Delhi involving school girls. A lady in Vivek Vihar, where the teacher Uma Khurana used to teach at a girl's school, gave the lead to the channel, after which the reporter, acting as a customer, fixed up a meeting with Mrs. Khurana at Cross River mall in late August. The footage aired shows Khurana negotiating a deal of Rs. 4,000 for the girl’s “services”. He paid Rs. 400 to her and she handed over the 15-year-old girl, an ex-student at her earlier school. Later, the girl was taken into confidence, and revealed that Khurana's method was to serve the students a drink laced with drugs after which she would take pictures of them in an obscene pose. These were later used by her to blackmail students into prostitution.
The day following the broadcast, a crowd of several hundred people gathered at the school. After burning a police van parked nearby, they entered the school premises, pulled the teacher out of the teacher's room, and thrashed her badly.
This led to calls for sting operations being curtailed. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which has been trying to stifle sting operations, especially against politicians, said that “It should have been left to the police to take action against the accused.”
Meanwhile, the role of Live India, the channel which aired the sting is being scrutinised by the police. The police had arrested, Khurana, a teacher at the Government Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya's Daryaganj branch, after the mob violence on Thursday.
But the police and parents claim that the channel's approach in broadcasting the expose was wrong. It is believed the channel had conducted the sting over a month back, when Khurana was a teacher at the Vivek Vihar branch of the school.
On Wednesday, 12 September 2007, The high court in the Indian capital, Delhi, has ordered that a schoolteacher who was sacked after a fake television "sting" operation must be reinstated. A police investigation later revealed the sting had been faked and the teacher falsely accused. The undercover journalist, Prakash Singh, who made the report was arrested. Police later questioned staff at the Live India news channel which broadcast the secretly-filmed tape on 30 August. Announcing her bail, the judge said she had been "more of a victim than an offender".
The Indian Government banned the channel for a month due to the false sting. It was banned because it breached the Cable Networks Regulation Act, 1995, by broadcasting an admittedly doctored sting operation.
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- Pratul Sharma & Neeraj Chauhan (August 31, 2007). "Sting op triggers riots in Old Delhi". Indian Express Delhi Newsline. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- "Delhi scarred by TV sting operations". Times of India. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Chetan Chauhan (August 31, 2007). "Sting revives debate on content". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Puneet Nicholas Yadav (September 1, 2007). "Cops helpless in school scandal case". DNA - India. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
- Jyotsna Singh (September 21, 2007). "India bans faked report channel". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
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