Kathua case: Punjab court acquits man based on ZEE News report
The court also appreciated ZEE News, particularly Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary and the staff
A report by ZEE News in January 2018 on the Kathua rape-murder case of an 8-year-old girl has helped the court in deciding the case and acquitting an innocent person who was being falsely implicated.
Taking a Zee News video telecast in April 2018 into cognizance, a Special Court in Pathankot, Punjab, freed Vishal Jangotra on June 10. The court relied heavily on the ZEE News video in its verdict and lauded the channel saying the evidence broadly supports the news clip relating to the presence of Vishal Jangotra alias Shamma at Meeranpur, Muzaffarnagar, during the period of occurrence.
The court also pointed out that Raju Kerni, Zee News Bureau Chief, Jammu (DW-15), has certified that the CD and the pen drive were genuine as per actual occurrence and without modification, therefore the same certainly be relied upon for reaching a just decision. The court also appreciated ZEE News, particularly ZEE News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary and staff for trying their best to know the actual truth.
Sudhir Chaudhary expressed his admiration for the coverage by ZEE News reporters. "At a time when media is often blamed for playing a negative role in the quest for justice, ZEE News has always practised the highest standards of journalism. ZEE News has always stood with truth and it gives us immense pleasure that our reporting in the present case has been appreciated by the court and forms a part of the evidence trail. There are pressure and abuse but then it is about true journalism," he said.
ZEE News has always strived to go deep into every matter and find out the truth. Even in the Kathua rape-murder case, a lot of hue and cry was raised by different organisations claiming all the seven persons named in the FIR were guilty even before the court verdict had come in. But Zee News pursued the case and proved through its fearless and ground-breaking reporting that Vishal Jangotra was innocent and in no way connected to the crime.
Sudhir Chaudhary had highlighted the case in his show ‘DNA’ and shown the proof several times which ultimately led to Vishal Jangotra's acquittal.
This is not the first time that ZEE News has helped in a legal matter.
In January 2019, ZEE News' stance was vindicated in the alleged anti-India sloganeering by some students of Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 2016. Delhi Police filed a detailed chargesheet against former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and several others on the basis of the channel's report.
A group of JNU students led by Kumar, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya had allegedly raised anti-India slogans during an event held at the varsity campus in the evening of February 9, 2016, to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
It is to be noted that ZEE News was the first news channel to have aired the controversial video clip showing several JNU students, including Khalid, Kumar and Bhattacharya, shouting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans at the varsity campus.
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