Rajdeep Sardesai, noted television anchor and currently a consulting editor at the India Today group, was acquitted by a Hyderabad court after he issued an unconditional apology for false reporting over the killing of dreaded gangster Sheikh Sohrabuddin, Telengana Today reported.
A criminal defamation suit filed by senior IPS officer and Prisons department Director-General Rajiv Trivedi against Sardesai over a program on the Sohrabuddin case titled ’30 Minutes - Sohrabuddin, The Inside Story’. In May 2007, Sardesai, then Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN, had run this program casting aspersions on the role of Trivedi.
In November 2019, Sardesai filed a sworn and signed affidavit admitting that it was a false story about Trivedi.
In the affidavit, Sardesai said he realised that there was nothing to substantiate the allegation that Trivedi provided cars with fake number plates in which Sohrabuddin was brought to Ahmedabad and then killed in a fake encounter.
“The news telecast by us about Trivedi was false. Realising our mistake, I offer an unconditional apology to Trivedi for telecasting false news about him and sincerely express my regrets for the irreparable loss, pain and agony caused to him, his family and friends,” Sardesai said.
During the program, the channel alleged that IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi, who was then part of the Hyderabad Special Investigation Team probing the Sohrabuddin case, had provided cars with fake number plates to transport Sohrabuddin and his wife Kausar Bi to Ahmedabad, where they were killed in an encounter.
A complaint was subsequently filed by the State of Andhra Pradesh against Sardesai and ten other reporters of CNN-IBN before a court in Hyderabad. It was alleged before the court that the report had tarnished the reputation of Rajiv Trivedi and was false, fabricated, and defamatory.
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