Rajasthan-based Hindi daily Rashtradoot and NRSC have opted for an ‘out of court’ settlement for a four-year-old dispute over the former publishing a news item on NRS 2003 two months before the survey report was out. The settlement was made on March 16, 2007.
It may be recalled that the dispute began when Rashtradoot published a news item on the NRS 2003 showing the Times of India overtaking Hindustan Times in Delhi, two months before the survey report was out. NRSC filed a litigation against the newspaper group, which later escalated to the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) and eventually to the Supreme Court. As a result, NRS kept Rashtradoot out of the National Readership Surveys (NRS) for a couple of years.
Both the parties later agreed to an out of court settlement after efforts made by Hormusji N Cama, President, Indian Newspaper Society (INS). Under the terms of the settlement, NRSC has agreed not to exclude publications of Rashtradoot and Rashtradoot Saptahik from future National Readership Surveys and keep them informed about all such surveys in future.
Somesh Sharma, CEO, Rashtradoot, said, “It was unfortunate that we were forced to go to Court to resolve the issue. We believe in readership surveys but our grievances were not being resolved and nobody wants to be dragged to the court. Now we are very happy that things have been resolved.”
The settlement also provides for the constitution of an independent Grievance Redressal Mechanism to address issues relating to the results of future National Readership Surveys. Both NRSC and Rashtradoot have jointly filed an application for settlement before the Delhi High Court, putting the dispute to rest.
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