Television

Parliamentary panel for guidelines on sting operations

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MUMBAI: A Parliamentary Committee has asked the government to come out with guidelines and norms for sting operations.

Headed by Congress MP V Kishore Chandra Deo, the seven-member Committee said: "The Union government may initiate steps for laying guidelines and norms for sting operations."

In its report on the alleged cash-for-votes scam, the Committee observed that carrying out sting operations in an unregulated manner, which casts aspersions on members of Parliament, erode the credibility of democratic institutions.

It further added: "The Committee, is, therefore of the opinion that such motivated trial by the media needs to be regulated.

The Committee said that sting operations are often driven by sensational quotients. It is to increase the TRP ratings of TV channels vis-a-vis their rivals and more often than not for monetary and other considerations.

“The committee wishes to express concern over the fact that the media has been indulging in a race to achieve viewership through sensationalism on a competitive basis," the committee said in its report.

Expressing concern over the fact that the media is indulging in a race to achieve viewership through "sensationalism" in a competitive basis, it recalled that in the cash-for-votes scam one channel had implied that all members are susceptible to corruption.

The committee was formed after three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs - Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora - stunned the nation by brandishing wads of cash in the Lok Sabha shortly before the Manmohan Singh government was to face the trust vote on 22 J

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