The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) yesterday decided to file a defamation suit against the media portal which released a video tape showing its members allegedly accepting donations without proper verification.
The party will also sue the media houses which telecast the sting.
The decision by the AAP leaders came just after the chief executive officer of mediasarkar.com, Anuranjan Jha, submitted the original CD to the Election Commission (EC), saying now it is up to the poll body to take a decision on the matter.
The sting carried out by media organisation mediasarkar.com, was released on Thursday and showed AAP leaders, including Shazia Ilmi, candidate from south Delhi’s R K Puram, accepting donations without proper verification days before the December 4 Delhi assembly polls.
“We were promised by mediasarkar.com that they would hand us the raw footage of the stings so that we can examine them, but now they have refused. We are convinced that these tapes are doctored,” AAP leader Yogendra Yadav told reporters here.
“Our candidates interacted at length with the reporters carrying out the sting but in the clip, only a few minutes’ footage is shown,” he added. “If the media organisation really wanted to follow a constitutional procedure to make public such erroneous activity, then why didn’t it give the CD directly to the Election Commission instead of running it on TV channels,” asked Yadav.
“There is clearly a conspiracy to sabotage the clean image of AAP,” he added.
Yadav said AAP member and senior counsel Prashant Bhushan will file a defamation suit against both the media organisations - one that made the footage and the channels who broadcast it – for trying to defame AAP candidates. He said: “We will take the matter to the Press Council of India and seek legal action against both. We have closely examined the footage shown on television channels. It is clear that the video version is edited and tampered with,” said Yadav, adding the video footage highlighted the statements of the reporter posing as one offering donation and not what AAP candidate Shazia Ilmi said during the interaction. “There were many statements that could have clearly shown there was nothing erroneous from the candidate’s side but were edited,” he told mediapersons during the conference.
“Now that the poll body has received the CD, we will request them to hand over a copy of the raw CD so we can closely examine it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ilmi has offered to withdraw her candidature from the elections but it was not accepted by the party.