NDTV has announced former Attorney-General of India and eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee as an Ombudsman. He will provide an independent perspective on NDTV’s coverage and investigate viewers’ complaints regarding the channel.
This is the first time in Indian television that an Ombudsman has been appointed by any channel. Sorabjee, in his honorary position, will be entirely independent from NDTV.
Commenting on the development, Vikram Chandra, NDTV Group CEO and Executive Director said, “NDTV has always been committed to the highest standards of integrity and balance in its news coverage, and we have now decided to take that one step further by appointing an independent Ombudsman, who can adjudicate on any issues that may come up in the future.”
Sonia Singh, NDTV’s Editorial Director and President of the Ethics Committee said, “Every day, we in the media face new editorial challenges regarding journalistic boundaries and we are delighted that Mr Sorabjee will, with his unchallenged integrity, be able to provide much needed insight and advice.”
KVL Narayan Rao, Vice Chairperson, NDTV Group added here, “Soli Sorabjee is an independent, highly respected, highly regarded legal luminary, with years of experience in handling issues relating to freedom of expression and freedom of the press and censorship. We are delighted that he has agreed to be the Ombudsman for NDTV.”
Sorabjee has had a distinguished legal career, having been appointed both, Solicitor General and Attorney General of India, and has served a number of years in these appointments. He has appeared in and argued several cases of constitutional importance in the High Courts and Supreme Court of India, relating to fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution, particularly issues relating to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, censorship, independence and accountability of the judiciary and scope and limits of judicial review. He has also appeared and argued for the Government of India in the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
He was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission as Special Rapporteur to report to the UN General Assembly on the human rights situation in Nigeria; he was also appointed as Personal Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the human rights situation in East Timor to the High Commissioner and has been a Member of the UN Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, as well as a Member, National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.