Two senior journalists based out of New Delhi resigned Friday while a third was put on notice by her organisation in the wake of their names appearing in a PIL filed in the Supreme Court by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation on communication leaks from the Essar Group.
Sandeep Bamzai, Editor of Mail Today, and Anupama Airy, Energy Editor of Hindustan Times, resigned after they were named in the PIL as persons for whom Essar arranged cabs. English news channel Times Now initiated an inquiry against its Deputy News Editor Meetu Jain who, according to the PIL, asked Essar for a car for local use in 2012 while she was employed with CNN-IBN news channel.
Bamzai resigned Friday morning while Airy resigned late afternoon after she was “confronted by her superiors” about the allegation in the PIL that she asked for a car from Essar from November 9 to November 11 in 2012.
Hindustan Times Editor-in-Chief Sanjoy Narayan said: “Prima facie the accusation is a serious violation of basic ethical standards, and of the trust that our readers place in us. We, therefore, had no choice but to suspend Ms Airy with immediate effect, pending an inquiry into her conduct. She has chosen to resign rather than participate in the process. Her resignation has been accepted.”
Bamzai, who has also been named in Essar communications as someone who asked the group for a cab for a few days in 2012, resigned on his own accord. “Nobody asked for my resignation. I resigned out of my own sense of propriety,” he said.
Bamzai accepted having asked the Essar Group for a cab: “In hindsight, it was a stupid mistake. I needn’t have done that… but the fact is I did ask for the cab and I decided to pay for that mistake by resigning today… but the other allegation in the PIL that I did a hit job at their (Essar Group) behest is entirely incorrect and false.”
Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami said the organisation had initiated an inquiry against Meetu Jain. “We have taken a tough position on the issue. We have given her a few days to explain her position on the allegations made in the said PIL. Meanwhile, she has been taken off all her official responsibilities with immediate effect,” Goswami said.