In what seems to be a setback to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), the media survey agency has lost a case against the Oriya daily Dharitri in a Fast Track Court in Orissa.
In a case filed by the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) appealing against the Civil Judge Court’s order not to use the masthead of ‘Dharitri’ in future surveys, the Additional District Judge ruled out interfering in the lower court’s judgment.
Previously, ‘Dharitri’ won the case against MRUC in which it had complained that while its circulation had been increasing significantly, IRS had been showing in its reports that the readership of the publication was on a declining path. The daily had claimed that it first sought to resolve the matter with the IRS, failing which, it took legal recourse to address its grievances.
In its judgment the court said, “Whether respondent ‘Dharitri’ is a member or not of MRUC, any publication done by IRS degrading the status of ‘Dharitri’ will affect its reputation and circulation.”
The court further observed that, “If he (MRUC) is restrained to conduct and publish readership survey report of newspaper ‘Dharitri’, then no inconvenience and irreparable injury would be caused to it. But if the readership survey of appellant is published, degrading the standard of respondent newspaper ‘Dharitri’, then it would face much inconvenience and the injury that would be caused to it would be irreparable in terms of money.”
Last year, financial daily ‘Business Standard’ had also opted out of the survey.