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"Media Plays A Key Role In Using Its Skill Of Investigative Journalism"; Republic TV Seeks Dismissal Of PILs Alleging Media Trial In Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case [Read Affidavit]

Nitish Kashyap
9 Sep 2020 3:12 PM GMT
Media Plays A Key Role In Using Its Skill Of Investigative Journalism; Republic TV Seeks Dismissal Of PILs Alleging Media Trial In Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case [Read Affidavit]
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Sivasubramanian Sundaram, CFO of Republic TV filed an affidavit on behalf of the channel in the PILs before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to stop the 'media trial' taking place in the Sushant Singh Rajput Death case.Petitioners Nilesh Navlakha (filmmaker/producer), Mahibub D Shaikh(editor of a regional newspaper) and retired civil servant Subhash Chander Chaba sought directions...

Sivasubramanian Sundaram, CFO of Republic TV filed an affidavit on behalf of the channel in the PILs before the Bombay High Court seeking directions to stop the 'media trial' taking place in the Sushant Singh Rajput Death case.

Petitioners Nilesh Navlakha (filmmaker/producer), Mahibub D Shaikh(editor of a regional newspaper) and retired civil servant Subhash Chander Chaba sought directions to temporarily postpone news reporting by the media, on the ground that it amounts to "Media Trial" or "Parallel Investigation", directly or indirectly hampering the CBI probe in the actor's death.

While hearing the said PIL along with a similar plea filed former IPS officers of the state, High Court had urged the media to exercise restraint in their reporting in the case.

In a 80-page reply, Republic TV has alleged that the present petition nought to be dismissed as it has been filed in private interest-

"I say that it is apprehended that the instant petition has been filed with ulterior motive and with the ultimate aim to curtail the Freedom of Press enshrined under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. That by seeking a relief to temporary postponement of news reporting including telecasting, publishing, republishing reports/articles and/or carrying out discussions/debates in relation to the unfortunate, sudden and mysterious demise of the Late Sushant Singh Rajput June 14, 2020.

The petitioner under the garb of instant petition is not only seeking a gag order against all media houses from making any publications but is also attempting to deprive the public of information in relation to the suspicious demise of late Sushant Singh Rajput."

Terming it vindictive, Republic TV has alleged that the petition has been filed with "mala fide intent to coerce, harass and intimidate the answering respondent and other similarly placed media houses."

Moreover, the media house has made allegations against the petitioner. The reply states that the petitioners are directly or indirectly connected with the film industry. Targeting Nilesh Navlakha specifically, Republic TV has alleged-

"He claims to be a reputed filmmaker, producer and is related to the film industry. In view of the same and considering the fact that various members of the film industry are being regularly probed by the investigating agency in relation to the death of late Sushant Singh Rajput, we have reasonable apprehension that the instant petition may have been filed not only to curtail the rights o0f the press but with mala fide intention to safeguard the vested interests of such people who apprehend disclosures of their names."

Comparing the media's role in Sushant singh Rajput's death case to that in the Jessica Lal murder case, Nitish Katara murder case and Rocky Yadav's case, Republic TV has contended that these cases are "prime examples of when media came together with the people of India in its fight for the prevailing of justice".

Thereafter, Republic TV has pointed out "Facts" brought forth by them in relation to the case, here are some of these "Facts"-

(i) Mumbai Police forensic team arrived at the scene of death 24 hours later

(ii)There are videos from the scene of death where someone says "If Video Is Leaked Investigation Will Be Ruined"

(iii) Republic questioned Sandip Singh

(iv) Mumbai Police did not register FIR

(v) Possible connection to Disha Salian's death

(vi) Rhea Chakraborty Allowed To Enter Mortuary

Finally, the reply states-

"The answering respondent believes that fight for truth in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case is an ongoing fight with a long road ahead, and one in which media plays a key role to use its skill in investigative journalism to bring key testimonies, evidence, corroborations and inconsistencies into the public domain."

The matter will be heard by the division bench of Chief justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni tomorrow

Click Here To Download Affidavit

[Read Affidavit]



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