Probe Bagla’s role in putting up sensitive ISRO pictures for sale: BJP leader

Controversial NDTV journalist Pallava Bagla, who shouted at and publicly insulted ISRO scientist DP Karnik during a Press briefing following the descent of Vikram lander on Moon from the Chandrayaan-2 mission, was found selling “exclusive and sensitive photographs” from ISRO premises to commercial photography site Getty.

According to media reports, the journalist used to upload hundreds of exclusive photographs of senior scientists and ISRO locations, various satellites and other scientific instruments being developed and assembled at ISRO for a huge prize. Most of such images are priced at ₹23,000, according to OpIndia website.

It is more than a question of ethics or propriety, say many respondents on social media. Author and BJP leader Vinit Goenka says the NDTV journalist’s action involves the issues of “data privacy, data protection and data sovereignty”. “This is a critical data. We as a nation cannot delay this discussion further. Strong laws on the subject is the need of the hour.”

According to Goenka, the journalist has violated the norms and misused his privileged access. “The role of the journalist has to be investigated plus also Getty Images has to be questioned as to what rules did they follow before displaying the pictures of the scientists for sale.”

Author Anand Ranganathan, in a tweet, states: “Not an IP lawyer but this is a serious issue. @GettyImages rules are clear: ‘You MUST have written permission from an individual or property owner allowing the use of that person’s likeness or property for commercial purposes.’ Bagla should clarify if he has written permissions.”

In a tweet, Monica states, “Pallava Bagla’s clicks of ISRO premises point towards something more sinister than just self interest. ISRO is a govt org and photography permission is a must. Was he exploiting his privileged access?”

When Bagla was slammed for his crass behaviour, NDTV promoter Prannoy Roy and a few Left-Liberals came out in the support of the controversial journalist. Roy had gone to the extent of saying that Bagla had done great service to the ISRO!