The information and broadcasting ministry has issued a show-cause notice to private TV news channel Live India for airing a fake sting operation, claiming to expose a school teacher's involvement in a prostitution racket.
The ministry notice has asked the news channel to explain why action should not be taken against it for violating the programme and advertising code prescribed under the Cable Television Network Act, an official source told IANS on Wednesday.
The channel is expected to file its reply by Friday, the source said.
"We have received the notice and will reply as per the law," a senior functionary of Live India said.
The 'expose' purportedly showed Uma Khurana, who teaches mathematics at the Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya at Asaf Ali Road in central Delhi, forcing many of her girl students into prostitution and pornography.
After the sting operation was telecast, a mob attacked the school and manhandled the teacher, who was dismissed by the Delhi government on September 1. She was arrested the next day on charges of immoral trafficking.
A week later, however, the police found the so-called `sting operation' to be a hoax as the woman shown in the video clip as the victim prostitution racket was, in fact, not a student at all but an aspiring journalist - Rashmi Singh.
Prakash Singh, the reporter who carried out the 'sting operation', was arrested and booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those related to cheating and criminal conspiracy. Khurana was on Monday granted bail.
The violation of the code that forbids airing a programme which "offends good taste or decency..." may lead to suspension of licence for a limited period or even revocation of licence, along with the fine, officials said.