In a blow to the Managing Director of Republic TV Arnab Goswami, the High Court of Delhi has issued notice to him and his new news channel venture on a defamation suit filed by Former Diplomat and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.
“Bring down the rhetoric. You can put out your story, you can put out the facts. You cannot call him names. That is uncalled for,” Justice Manmohan was quoted as saying. The Court has now sought their replies by August 16, the next date of hearing.
Mr. Tharoor had filed a civil defamation suit seeking damages to the tune of Rs 2 crore, and had also sought a direction from the Court to restrain Republic TV from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife till the investigation is completed by the Delhi Police. The suit had been filed after the broadcasting of news items from May 8 to 13, when the TV channel claimed to air an expose connected to Sunanda Pushkar’s death.
“It is not out of place to say that defendants (Goswami and Republic TV) broadcast news reports and alleged expose which were intended to lead the viewers to believe that the deceased was murdered either by plaintiff (Tharoor) or at the instance of the plaintiff. Such a broadcast clearly has the potential of adversely impacting the ongoing investigation into the death of the deceased,” the plea was quoted as saying.
Denouncing the news, Mr. Tharoor has further alleged that the news has created a non-existing controversy by maligning his public life and image. He has therefore demanded Rs. 2 crores as damages “for having suffered humiliation and having suffered severe loss of reputation in the eyes of the public and he has baselessly been declared by the defendants as the alleged murderer of his late wife.”