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Deliberately spread fake news, grovel and apologise when caught: Here are 3 instances when Rajdeep Sardesai tendered ‘unconditional apologies’

This has been a typical modus operandi espoused by Rajdeep where in he first blatantly lies to propagate his agenda and when confronted with facts and the prospect of being dragged to the court of law for his mendacity, he meekly apologises.

In November 2019, controversial journalist Rajdeep Sardesai had tendered an unconditional apology to an IPS officer for airing a fake news item on Sohrabuddin encounter case in 2007 after which the case against him and his other associates was dismissed by the court.

Rajdeep Sardesai had to apologise to Rajiv Trivedi for a program titled “30 minutes – Sohrabuddin, the inside story”, which was aired on CNN-IBN (now CNN-News18) channel on 13 May 2007. In the program, it was accused that Hyderabad Special Investigation Unit SP Rajiv Trivedi had helped the Gujarat police in nabbing Sohrabuddin. Rajdeep Sardesai had reported that Rajiv Trivedi had provided cars with fake number plates which were used to transport Sohrabuddin to Ahmedabad.

However, this was not the first time that Rajdeep Sardesai had apologised for peddling fake news. Rajdeep had a long and intimate association with apologies. Earlier, Rajdeep had made an apology for spreading falsehoods about BHU VC. Rajdeep had posted tweets alleging that BHU VC had joined PM Modi’s rally at Kashi Vishwanath temple and raising suspicions over the political autonomy of BHU.

Rajdeep was not the only one to weave lies about the BHU VC joining PM Modi’s election rally. Soon, assorted liberals indulged in slandering BHU VC by claiming that he had indeed attended PM Modi’s rally.

Kavita Krishnan had joined in to slam BHU VC stating that the vice chancellor attends political rallies while asking women students of the University to sign affidavit prohibiting them from doing politics.

The Wire, a portal known for flagrantly peddling distortions and lies, too joined the bandwagon in censuring BHU VC based on Rajdeep’s baseless assertion of the vice chancellor participating in PM Modi’s rally. It ran a conjectural story contemplating reasons as to why BHU VC attended PM Modi’s election rally without independently verifying Rajdeep’s unfounded claims.

However, soon after it was manifestly established that BHU VC did not participate in PM Modi’s rally, Rajdeep Sardesai withdrew his tweets and apologised for his mistake. However, this did not sit well with the Legal Rights Observatory Convener Vinay Joshi who in an email to the News Broadcasters Association complained about Rajdeep Sardesai’s inveterate tendency of spreading lies and later issuing an apology when called out for his falsehoods.

Vinay Joshi’s email to NBA

Vinay Joshi’s email to NBA

In the email, Joshi asserted that though Rajdeep had pulled down his tweets after brazenly lying about the BHU vice chancellor and PM Modi, the issue should be ended there as Rajdeep has become “a habitual offender and careful fabricator of mischievous intent”.

In an excruciating details, Joshi laid bare Rajdeep Sardesai’s previous shenanigans where he was found pulling the wool over his viewers by manipulating interviews and abusing his followers on Twitter. Joshi alleged that Rajdeep had distorted Sri Sri Ravishankar’s interview. He also cited how the journalist came to blows with an onlooker at Madison square. In addition, Joshi also highlighted how Rajdeep had been abusive to a Twitter user and later claimed that his account was hacked but did not file any complaint for hacked account.

Vinay Joshi’s email to NBA

While filing a complaint against Rajdeep Sardesai for his lies on BHU VC, Joshi implored the NBA to direct the Headlines Today/India Today group to give out an exemplary punishment to the incorrigible journalist alleging that Rajdeep has “no respect for journalistic morality and editorial standards”. He warned that if any action is not taken against Rajdeep, he would be forced to file an FIR against him under IPC 420 and Section-66A of the Information Technology Act 2000.

The complaint prompted Rajdeep to call Vinay Joshi and apologise for spreading fake news. Rajdeep personally called up Joshi and tendered his apology for mistaking someone else for BHU VC and alleging that the BHU VC had come out in support of PM Modi and participated in his political rally. Transcripts of the call are below:-

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6nHt2hT_-8]

Apologising for his mistake, Rajdeep admitted that it was the case of “mistaken identity” on his part to assume that BHU VC had participated in PM Modi’s rally. Rajdeep ensured Mr Joshi that such mistakes will not be repeated and stated that he has personally apologised to the BHU VC as well as issued an apology on Twitter after withdrawing the tweets. However, Mr Joshi retorted back saying that such errors have been occurring on regular intervals and that once the character is assassinated, it cannot be restored back to its full esteem.

Mortified by Mr Joshi’s sharp criticism, Rajdeep said that he will be very careful on Twitter henceforth and won’t post any tweets on politics altogether. “I will be very careful and I don’t want to tweet on any of these issues,” Sardesai had said.

Puneet Jain’s email to Vinay Joshi

Mr Joshi’s scathing email also drew a response from TV Today network official Puneet Jain who replied to Mr Joshi’s email confirming that the issue stands closed and he no longer chooses to pursue the case in the court of law following Rajdeep’s communique with him.

Earlier, regarding Sri Sri Ravishankar’s manipulated interview by Rajdeep, Mr Joshi had filed a complaint with NBA which elicited another apology from Rajdeep.

Rajdeep’s previous apology in November 2011

Rajdeep had then responded to Vinay Joshi, recognising his mistake and claiming that he had apologised on air as well to Sri Sri in person. In a feeble attempt to placate Joshi, Rajdeep had then stated that his channel has “put in place systems to ensure that pre recorded interviews do not run in live discussions at any stage”.

This has been a typical modus operandi espoused by Rajdeep where in he first blatantly lies to propagate his agenda and when confronted with facts and the prospect of being dragged to the court of law for his mendacity, he meekly apologises and ensures that “such mistakes” won’t be repeated, only to commit mistakes of similar nature in future.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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