The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to TV journalist Arnab Goswami and his channel ‘Republic TV’ on Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s plea that they be restrained from running misleading news items on his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death and using the phrase ‘murder of Sunanda Pushkar’ as it is yet to be established if her death was murder.
Justice Manmohan issued notice to Goswami and his channel on an application filed by Tharoor while remarking that “You (Goswami and his channel) have to respect his (Tharoor’s) right to silence”.
The matter will now come up for hearing on August 16.
The latest application was filed by Tharoor claiming that Goswami and the channel were engaging in “continuous and belligerent accusations” against him, despite him having filed a civil suit seeking damages for defamation wherein on May 29, Goswami’s counsel had assured the court that he would advise his client to ‘scale down’.
Tharoor's counsel senior advocate Salman Khurshid prayed the court to restrain Goswami and the channel from using the phrase 'murder of Sunanda Pushkar'.
The application also said since the very first hearing of the civil suit was held on May 29, the defendants had deliberately misreported the proceedings of the high court.
Tharoor had filed the civil suit on May 26 seeking damages and compensation for making defamatory remarks against him while running numerous “irresponsible new stories and news debates on their news broadcast channel ‘Republic TV’ between May 8 and May 11 on the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor”.
He said the injunction application was kept pending only on the assurance given by Goswami’s counsel that he would advise his client to “’scale down” and the court had also asked him to “reduce the rhetoric” and not to call plaintiff names or try to impute guilt to him.
“However, after the hearing on May 29, the defendant deliberately stated false and mala fide campaign of misreporting wherein incorrect headlines were flashed and news reports were broadcast,” said the application filed through advocate Gaurav Gupta.
Tharoor prayed that the defendants be restrained from making any defamatory publication against him and not to cast aspersions on him or the state that he is directly or indirectly responsible for the death of his wife.
He also sought directions to restrain Goswami or his channel to post any update of the civil suit on social media or its own website.
He prayed that Goswami be directed not to incite journalists or guests on his channel to assume criminal guilt on basis of their false assertions.