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Delhi Court Issues Summons To Republic Media, Arnab Goswami In Defamation Suit By Popular Front Of India

Nupur Thapliyal
29 Oct 2021 2:47 AM GMT
Delhi Court Issues Summons To Republic Media, Arnab Goswami In Defamation Suit By Popular Front Of India
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A Delhi Court on Thursday issued summons to Republic Media, Arnab Goswami, its chief editor working with the channel and News Broadcasters Standards Association in a defamation suit filed by Popular Front of India over a news report concerning Assam's Darrang firing incident recently.Popular Front of India, in the suit mentions a news article titled "Darrang firing: 2 arrested with PFI...

A Delhi Court on Thursday issued summons to Republic Media, Arnab Goswami, its chief editor working with the channel and News Broadcasters Standards Association in a defamation suit filed by Popular Front of India over a news report concerning Assam's Darrang firing incident recently.

Popular Front of India, in the suit mentions a news article titled "Darrang firing: 2 arrested with PFI links, accused of 'mobilizing crowds' for protest" along with a news telecast dated September 27 with the heading "Assam Violence Probe : 2 PFI Men Arrested...... PFI Men accused of conspiracy... The police has nabbed two PFI Men Md Asmat Ali Ahmed and Md Chand Mamud" reported by the channel.

According to PFI, the channel made false and frivolous accusations against the organization "with the intent to provoke the people and further to cause prejudice to it's name goodwill and image by making slanderous statement."

PFI has claimed that the said reports were baseless and were made without any evidence, without verifying the correct facts. It has also clarified that the two persons mentioned in the news telecast were in no manner members of PFI.

Judge Sheetal Chaudhary Pradhan issued summons on the suit and ordered thus:

"Issue summons of the suit to the defendant on filing of PF, speed post and registered AD, all modes to be adopted, returnable for 03.01.2022. Steps be taken within two weeks from today."

Stating that it strongly condemns the 'irresponsible reporting' by Republic TV, PFI in the suit has stated thus:

"That it is indicated that the aforesaid news in your TV News Channel as wel as website clearly shows the malicious intention of the defendants no.l to 3 portraying the plaintiff as acting illegally and funding in illegal act. Fortunately, it is not only appears, but establishes that the defendants no.1 to 3 have been acting and committing such news reporting to the general public at large. which are not only contrary to the truth, but with intention to tarnish the image of the plaintiff."

PFI has also contended that the such defamatory post still circulating and viewed by public at large is causing continuous damage to it's goodwill, image and reputation.

The suit also states that while a legal notice was sent by PFI to the channel to tender an unconditional apology in writing, a false and evasive reply was received by them.

In this backdrop, the suit prays thus:

" A decree for damages of Rs.1,00,000/- in favour of plaintiff and against the defendants no.1 to 3 jointly ie. Rs.33,333/- each from defendant no.1 to 3 on account of defamation by way of telecasting a defamatory, derogatory, obnoxious news/telecast by the defendant no.1 to 3 with the sole motive to defame, besmirch, malign the name, image., goodwill and reputation of the plaintiff."

The suit also prays for a decree of permanent injunction against the defendants for restraining them for further tarnishing or defaming PFI by way of publishing or telecasting any such news on their news channel.

"Pass a decree of mandatory injunction in favour of plaintiff and against the defendants thereby directing the defendant no.1 to 3 to remove or delete the aforesaid defamatory, derogatory, obnoxious post, telecast, news from their website www.republicworld.com" as wel as Youtube Channel with the name "Republic World," the prayer reads.

The suit also seeks a decree of mandatory injunction directing the NBSA to take appropriate action for violation of the Code.

The matter will now be considered on January 3. 

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