//CBI probe sought into release of State Government ads to Jaya TV

CBI probe sought into release of State Government ads to Jaya TV

CHENNAI: A public interest litigation petition, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into release of Tamil Nadu Government advertisements and notifications to Jaya TV and Dr. Namadhu MGR, a newspaper, has been filed in the Madras High Court.

In the petition, advocate B.K. Girish Nilakantan said the channel and the newspaper had only a limited viewership and circulation. "The newspaper and the television channel are being run only from the money diverted from the Government by way of advertisements… Public money has been fritted away because of nepotism and favouritism."

TAM figures

Citing the viewership figures of the Television Audience Measurement (TAM), he said Jaya TV had a viewership of 5.35 per cent as against the Sun TV’s reach of 45.72 per cent.

Releasing advertisements in "colossal proportions" was disproportionate to the ratings of Jaya TV.

He wanted the court to call for a report on the quantum of advertisements released to these two entities since 2001 and said: "Whenever Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister, there had been a huge and unrestricted flow of government money, in the form of advertisements, to chosen and favoured television channels and dailies."

"Restrain Government"

He also sought to restrain the Government from issuing advertisements to the channel and newspaper during the pendency of the petition