BBC apologises and withdraws article against Kanchi Shankaracharya

via PTI published on March 13, 2006

In response to protests from a group of devotees of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, the BBC has removed from its website an article by Mr. Vinod Mehta, the editor of Outlook magazine. Further, the BBC has paid out £4000 for the legal costs incurred to obtain this out-of-court settlement. These devotees came together on a web-based discussion forum, www.kanchiforum.org.

The website article was the transcript of a talk given by Mr. Mehta on 28 January 2005 on BBC Radio 4 about the Sankararaman murder case. After months of protracted protests, the BBC Complaints Unit authorities adjudicated that the talk contained “serious errors” and inaccuracies on several counts. Mr. Mehta had wrongly asserted that the charge sheet contained several police accusations of personal misconduct by the Shankaracharya. The BBC has apologized for the errors and the delay in reporting them.

On a number of points Mr. Mehta’s account ran counter to the findings of the Supreme Court of India, made public some three weeks before the BBC talk titled “A View from India.”

Mr. Mehta had passed over the Supreme Court verdict in total silence

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