In a major development surrounding the controversy around Kapil Sibal-promoted Tiranga TV, Barkha Dutt has announced that she will initiate criminal and civil proceedings against Kapil Sibal and his wife, Promila Sibal for cheating and fraud. Barkha took to Twitter on Wednesday morning and said, “My last word on @NewsHtn saga. I will initiate criminal and civil proceedings against @KapilSibal and wife for cheating and fraud & refusal to honour contract. I hope the staff whom I support fully is able to get compensation of 3 months. Irony:Parliament media debate tomorrow”
My last word on @NewsHtn saga. I will initiate criminal and civil proceedings against @KapilSibal and wife for cheating and fraud & refusal to honour contract. I hope the staff whom I support fully is able to get compensation of 3 months. Irony:Parliament media debate tomorrow
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 17, 2019
In another development, Barkha Dutt has filed a complaint against Promila Sibal alleging her of abusing female staff members including Barkha in the National Commission of Women.
— NCW (@NCWIndia) July 16, 2019
Barkha had earlier tweeted alleging the same and had said, “Worst of all, @KapilSibal & wife have referred to female staffers as “Kutiya”or Bitch. This is a fit case for NCW @sharmarekha & we will place signed affidavits to prove our case.”
To which Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women had requested Barkha to send an official e-mail for the same after which the complaint was registered.
Could you pl send me details on my email Chairpersonemail@example.com
— rekha sharma (@sharmarekha) July 15, 2019
The Congress leader had launched the controversial channel ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and had boasted some big names like Barkha Dutt and Karan Thapar. However, now it seems the channel has fallen off its chart and Sibal has had to do massive layoffs. The channel has not only lain off the employees without any valid reason but has also refused to provide them a compensatory salary to help guide over the tumultuous time.
As per reports, there have been three rounds of lay-off at the news channel. The reports added that several journalists had left decent jobs before joining Tiranga TV but now they have been left in a spot of bother after being fired with extra salary for only one month. It has also been reported that the retrenched journalists are demanding that they should be paid at least three months extra salary given the market conditions. There have also been issues of dictatorial methods of the management at the portal.
When the news of the mass lay off of employees at the Tiranga TV first came to light, many people on social media questioned Barkha Dutt for her silence on the issue. At that time, Barkha Dutt had tersely replied that she was not involved in the management of the company. However, yesterday Barkha Dutt broke her silence and took on Kapil Sibal and his wife for the mass layoffs in a long twitter thread. Not only did she call onto Kapil Sibal and his wife’s poor management and irregular layoffs, but she also stated that journalists have been insulted and abused at their hands. She also stated that how a lot of the senior staff is owed salary of over a year and how she was threatened to withdraw her emails.
An appalling situation in @NewsHtn promoted by @KapilSibal & his wife, where more than 200 employees have had equipment confiscated and face sackings without even a 6 month pay out. Man who acts holier than though in public has treated journalists in a hideous way
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 15, 2019
According to Barkha Dutt, the journalists had been hired on the assurance of a “professionally run newsroom and a minimum tenure of two years”, for which they left their lucrative jobs. To make matters worse, Kapil Sibal sent over bouncers to intimidate those journalists who were peacefully protesting at Tiranga TV office for their rights. Barkha Dutt called out to this and urged the Editors Guild to intervene.
Bouncers at @NewsHtn office sent in by @KapilSibal and wife tweet protesting colleagues who are on an all night sit in dharna demanding a six month pay out. Need I say more. This needs the urgent intervention of @IndEditorsGuild @PrakashJavdekar https://t.co/I7cvNKP8in
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 15, 2019
However, the mainstream media in stark contrast to the conduct, which cries foul even on the slightest check on unbridled journalism, has eaten a frog on clear physical intimidation of protesting employees. Not surprisingly the so-called flag-bearers of journalistic ethics like Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghosh, Nidhi Razdan, Shekhar Gupta and others are also missing from the scene.