The News Broadcasting Standards Authority has cracked the whip on Times Now, directing the news channel to air a public apology on October 27 for passing objectionable remarks against author Sanjukta Basu during a channel debate in 2018.

The derogatory remarks were reportedly made during "India Upfront" at 8 pm and "News Hour Debate" at 9 pm in April 2018 following which Basu had sent the channel a legal notice. She moved the NBSA after she failed to get a satisfactory response.

In its order on October 25, the NBSA noted that the he channel referred to Basu in its shows as 'Hindu hater', 'vile troll' and claimed that she was a part of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's 'troll army'

The channel has been told to air the following message: "We regret that in the programmes aired on 6.4.2018 – 'India Upfront' @ 8 pm and 'The NewsHour Debate' @ 9 pm on Times Now channel, we had not taken the version of the complainant Ms Sanjukta Basu, thereby violating the principles relating to impartiality and objectivity and ensuring neutrality and fairness in reporting. We clarify that there was no intention to bring disrepute to Ms Sanjukta Basu.”

Reacting to the NBSA order, Basu said that the broadcast regulator had hurriedly released the long-delayed judgment.

In a statement, she said: "In pursuing my case I have come across many weaknesses in the way NBSA functions and it is an irony that in front of Supreme Court and Bombay High Court, NBA and Union of India have been arguing that NBSA is already a robust body for broadcast media standards and grievance redressal and no improvement is required. This is simply not true, as my case shows that there are many questions that remain unanswered." 

"To begin with, why did it take them 15 months to give a judgment when their mandate is to settle complaints in 3 months, and how come in just 24 hours of my moving SC they released the order? Where are the transparency and accountability measures," she asked.