Upholding the interim order of the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Bhubaneswar that had directed Mumbai-based Media Research Users Council (MRUC) not to use the masthead of Oriya daily Pragativadi in its Indian Readership Survey (IRS) list and not to use the vernacular daily in its survey, the court of the Khurda District Judge, Bhubaneswar, has summarily rejected the petition filed by the MRUC in this regard.
The court, in its judgement, has categorically told the Council that under no circumstance could it force Pragativadi to include it in its survey.
It is worthwhile here to mention that MRUC conducts IRS survey every year. However, Pragativadi had lodged a strong protest against the Council for placing the Oriya daily in the lower order in its first round survey list in 2008.
In a letter to the Council authorities, Pragativadi had requested them not to use its masthead and include its name in its survey list. At the same time, Pragativadi had also rejected the letters by the MRUC requesting it to include in its IRS-2008 and IRS-2009 survey.
However, the Council, overlooking the request of the daily, furnished an erroneous report on the readership base of Pragativadi in its website, a statement issued by the Oriya daily said. Taking strong exception to this, Pragativadi later filed a writ in the court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Bhubaneswar, alleging that the Council had included its name in its list with deliberate intent.
Civil Judge Jadumani Mishra, in his interim judgement on July 31, 2008, had directed MRUC not to use the masthead of Pragativadi and not include the vernacular daily in its IRS-2008 and 2009 survey till the final judgment of the case was delivered.
Challenging the order of the Court, the Council later moved the Court of the Khurda District Judge, Bhubaneswar. The Council, in its petition, had stated that Pragativadi had no right to dissuade it from either conducting the survey or furnishing any report of its survey.
Hearing the petitions of both the parties, District Judge Jatindra Prasad Das, in his judgement dated January 30, 2009, maintained that MRUC had no right to force Pragativadi to include its name in its survey list as the latter had already appraised its unwillingness to the Council in this regard.
The Court, while rejecting the petition of the Council, also maintained that that since the interim order of the Civil Judge (Junior Division), Bhubaneswar in this regard was totally justified, there was no point of further interference in this issue.
Readership row: Bhubaneshwar Court bars MRUC from using masthead of Pragativadi
Oriya daily Pragativadi files legal suit against MRUC over incorrect readership figures