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Bollywood vs 'Republic TV' & 'Times Now': Big Studios Move Delhi HC To Restrain Derogatory Reporting

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
12 Oct 2020 12:29 PM GMT
Bollywood vs Republic TV & Times Now: Big Studios Move Delhi HC To Restrain Derogatory Reporting
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In a significant development, major production houses of the Hindi film industry have come together to file a civil suit in the Delhi High Court against news channels such as "Republic TV" and "Times Now".Thiry four big production houses and four major associations of the Hindi film industry have jointly filed the suit seeking to restrain journalists such as Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari...

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In a significant development, major production houses of the Hindi film industry have come together to file a civil suit in the Delhi High Court against news channels such as "Republic TV" and "Times Now".

Thiry four big production houses and four major associations of the Hindi film industry have jointly filed the suit seeking to restrain journalists such as Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari of Republic TV, Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar of Times Now and several unknown defendants and social media platforms from publishing "irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood members".

The civil suit filed by DSK Legal and Associates also seeks to restrain them from conducting media trials of Bollywood personalities and interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with Bollywood and to ensure that the channels comply with the Program Code laid down under the Cable TV (Regulation) Act, 1994.

The plaintiffs also seek to withdraw, recall and take down all the defamatory content published by them against Bollywood.

The plaintiffs include the production houses of Bollywood big names Aamir Khan, Sharukh Khan(Red Chillies), Salmaan Khan, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor and major production houses such as Yashraj Films, Dharma Productions (of Karan Johar),  Nadiadwala, Excel, Vidhu Vinod Chopra films, Vishal Bharadwaj, Reliance Big etc.




As per the plaint, the channels have been using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as "dirt", "filth", "scum", "druggies" and expressions such as "it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned", "all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood", "This is the dirtiest industry in the country", and "cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood".

It is pleaded that Bollywood is a distinct and well recognised class, comprising the Hindi film industry in Mumbai. Since several years Bollywood is a huge source of revenue for the public exchequer, earns significant foreign exchange for India by way of revenue from overseas releases of films, tourism etc., and is a big source of employment, with various other industries also being largely dependent on it. Bollywood is unique and stands on a different footing from any other industry inasmuch as it is an industry that is dependent almost solely on goodwill, appreciation and acceptance of its audience. The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the Defendants. This is in addition to the ongoing pandemic which has resulted in extreme revenues and work opportunity loss. The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals, seeped in drug culture, and making being part of Bollywood as synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination.

As per the plaint, the news channels have suffered penalties in the past for irresponsible reporting and have invited reprimands from courts and authorities.

It is pointed out that following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the channels resorted to frenzied reporting against the Hindi film industry suggesting that the CBI would start arresting major actors.

The suit contends that some of the Defendants are also openly flouting the Programme Code framed under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 contained in Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, which governs the television channels owned and operated by these Defendants.

These Defendants are conducting and publishing parallel private 'investigations' and effectively acting as "courts" to condemn persons connected with Bollywood as guilty based on what they claim is "evidence" found by them, thereby trying to make a mockery of the criminal justice system, the plaint states.

The Plaintiffs clarified that they are not seeking a blanket gag order against media reportage of the investigation in the cases relating to the death of Mr. Sushant Singh Rajput or the related cases registered by the NCB. They said that they are merely seeking perpetual and mandatory injunction against the Defendants from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws.

The full list of plaintiffs are:

  1. The Film & Television Producers Guild Of India (PGI)
  2. The Cine & TV Artistes' Association (CINTAA)
  3. Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC)
  4. Screenwriters Association (SWA)
  5. Aamir Khan Productions
  6. Ad-Labs Films
  7. Ajay Devgn Fflims
  8. Andolan Films
  9. Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network
  10. Arbaaz Khan Productions
  11. Ashutosh Gowariker Productions
  12. BSK Network and Entertainment
  13. Cape of Good Films
  14. Clean Slate Filmz
  15. Dharma Productions
  16. Emmay Entertainment & Motion Pictures
  17. Excel Entertainment
  18. Filmkraft Productions
  19. Hope Production
  20. Kabir Khan Films
  21. Luv Films
  22. Macguffin Pictures
  23. Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
  24. One India Stories
  25. R.S. Entertainment (Ramesh Sippy Entertainment)
  26. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures
  27. Red Chillies Entertainment
  28. Reel Life Productions
  29. Reliance Big Entertainment
  30. Rohit Shetty Picturez
  31. Roy Kapur Films
  32. Salman Khan Films
  33. Sikhya Entertainment
  34. Sohail Khan Productions
  35. Tiger Baby Digital
  36. Vinod Chopra Films
  37. Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures
  38. Yashraj Films





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