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Breaking- Ramesh Jarkiholi Scandal: Bengaluru Court Restrains 68 Media Houses From Publishing Defamatory Content/CDs Against Six Ministers In Yediyurappa Ministry

Mustafa Plumber
6 March 2021 1:48 PM GMT
Breaking- Ramesh Jarkiholi Scandal: Bengaluru Court Restrains 68 Media Houses From Publishing Defamatory Content/CDs Against Six Ministers In Yediyurappa Ministry
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A City Civil court in Bengaluru on Saturday issued a temporary injunction against 68 media houses restraining them from telecasting or publishing of any unverified news items/defamatory contents/CDs against the plaintiffs/applicants (Six state ministers in the B. S. Yediyurappa Cabinet), till the next date of hearing.Additional City Civil Judge D.S.VIJAYA KUMAR ordered "Therefore, till the...

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A City Civil court in Bengaluru on Saturday issued a temporary injunction against 68 media houses restraining them from telecasting or publishing of any unverified news items/defamatory contents/CDs against the plaintiffs/applicants (Six state ministers in the B. S. Yediyurappa Cabinet), till the next date of hearing.

Additional City Civil Judge D.S.VIJAYA KUMAR ordered

"Therefore, till the next date of hearing, defendants/ opponents are hereby restrained by an Interim-Order of temporary injunction from broadcasting, telecasting or publishing or letting in circulation or posting or accommodating or transmitting or circulating any defamatory news items or showing footages and pictures referring to the plaintiffs in relation to the alleged C.Ds. and committing any act or intentional omission which thereby causes character assassination of the plaintiffs on the basis of the unverified material."

Six State Ministers belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- SHIVARAM HEBBAR, B C PATIL, H T SOMASHEKHAR, K SUDHAKAR, NARAYAN GOWDA and BHYRATI BASAVARAJ had approached the court on March 5, seeking to restrain the media from airing/printing/publishing any defamatory content against them.

All the six ministers had defected to the BJP from the Congress and JDS in July 2019 leading to the fall of the previous coalition government. All of them were disqualified and won by-elections held in December 2019 and were subsequently made Cabinet ministers. An additional civil magistrate will take up the matters for orders on Saturday.

It was claimed by the plaintiffs that recently Media channels in the State of Karnataka including Social media platforms telecasted and published news titled as Sex Scandal of the State Minister Sri.Ramesh Jarakiholi alleging that the said Minister sought favours from a woman promising her a job. Same was telecasted/published even before verifying the news, its sources and authenticity, resulting in Sri.Ramesh Jarakiholi resigning as Minister.

In close heel of the same, it is alleged that some of the Media Houses are telecasting/publishing news that there are other C.Ds containing several sex scandals pertaining to M.L.As, Ministers and there are around 19 C.Ds. of different M.L.As and Ministers including that of an influential politician from Old Mysore region. On the basis of such false news being telecasted, members from respective Constituency of the plaintiffs have started calling them and presuming their involvement in such Sex scandals. Family members of the plaintiffs are being put into embarrassing situations.

"Recently, by a process of deep fake using artificial intelligence, videos of worldwide politicians such as Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth have been morphed and have gone viral. Similar videos of some Indian politicians have also been made. Innocent people who are unaware of such a process tend to believe the videos and its contents to be true. Therefore, Plaintiffs apprehend that by using fake C.Ds. their reputation would be harmed."

The Ministers also produced before the court a printout of the screen shots of the telecasts in 'B' News Channel and 'B tv' News channel.

The court on going through the material produced before it said;

"From the above material, it is prima facie seen that although no CD's. are released, yet which are claimed in the said news items, it is being sensationalized that there are 19 more C.Ds. Of 19 influential persons and they may be released any time and they pertain to sex scandals and there is even reference to some Ministers. From the said printouts it is 'prima facie' seen that Media houses have still not received any C.Ds., but news items are being telecasted."

 "Plaintiffs are holding High Offices in the Government of Karnataka and if unverified news items are telecasted or published it goes without saying that the same would cause irreparable injury to their reputation and also cause loss of respect in the Society and in their own families."

Judge Kumar opined that "Of-course, citizens have the right to know about their leaders. They have the right to know how their elected representatives are performing. Similarly, Media has the right to freedom of expression, and the duty to report such matters so as to appraise the people about the conduct of their elected representatives. Media is considered to be the 4th pillar of our Democracy. At the same time, plaintiffs have right to be protected against their character assassination on the basis of unverified material."

Placing reliance on the judgment in the case of the Swatanter Kumar Vs. The Indian Express Ltd. and others . The court observed

"I am of opinion that the Media should walk an extra mile to get news item and its source verified through legally admissible process, whereupon, it should be ready to shoulder responsibility for such news items and then publish or telecast same, so as to advance cause of freedom of expression as well as right of the citizens to know about public affairs."

 "But, at this stage, as can be seen from the printouts of the screen shots produced, new items are apparently in the nature of sensationalisation of the unverified material. Not even a clear foundation is available in the said news items."

Accordingly it held "I am of the opinion that it is necessary to injunct telecasting or publishing of any unverified news items against the plaintiffs/applicants."

Defendant no 2 TV 9 KARNATAKA AND NEWS 9REP BY EDITOR IN CHIEF/ DIRECTOR had filed a caveat in the morning. To which the court said

"Now the said caveat petition is placed before the court. Whereas this suit has been filed on 05.03.2021 and IA No.1 was heard on the same day and the matter had been reserved for orders and in the morning session before commencement of the open court itself the order has been dictated and made ready. Hence after the order is ready the question of considering caveat does not arise."

The court issued notice to the defendants returnable on March 31.

Click here to download the Order

 vil court in Bengaluru on Saturday issued a temporary injunction against 68 media houses restraining them from telecasting or publishing of any unverified news items against the plaintiffs/applicants (Six state ministers), till the next date of hearing.il Judge D.S.VIJAYA KUMAR ordered "Therefore, till the next date of hearing, defendants/ opponents are hereby restrained by an Interim-Order of temporary injunction from broadcasting, telecasting or publishing or letting in circulation or posting or accommodating or transmitting or circulating any defamatory news items or showing footages and pictures referring to the plaintiffs in relation to the alleged C.Ds. and committing any act or intentional omission which thereby causes character assassination of the plaintiffs on the basis of the unverified material."

Six State Ministers belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party- SHIVARAM HEBBAR, B C PATIL, H T SOMASHEKHAR, K SUDHAKAR, NARAYAN GOWDA and BHYRATI BASAVARAJ had approached the court on March 5, seeking to restrain the media from airing/printing/publishing any defamatory content against them.

All the six ministers had defected to the BJP from the Congress and JDS in July 2019 leading to the fall of the previous coalition government. All of them were disqualified and won by-elections held in December 2019 and were subsequently made Cabinet ministers. An additional civil magistrate will take up the matters for orders on Saturday.

It was claimed by the plaintiffs that recently Media channels in the State of Karnataka including Social media platforms telecasted and published news titled as Sex Scandal of the State Minister Sri.Ramesh Jarakiholi alleging that the said Minister sought favours from a woman promising her a job. Same was telecasted/published even before verifying the news, its sources and authenticity, resulting in Sri.Ramesh Jarakiholi resigning as Minister.

In close heel of the same, it is alleged that some of the Media Houses are telecasting/publishing news that there are other C.Ds containing several sex scandals pertaining to M.L.As, Ministers and there are around 19 C.Ds. of different M.L.As and Ministers including that of an influential politician from Old Mysore region. On the basis of such false news being telecasted, members from respective Constituency of the plaintiffs have started calling them and presuming their involvement in such Sex scandals. Family members of the plaintiffs are being put into embarrassing situations.

The ministers submitted "Recently, by a process of deep fake using artificial intelligence, videos of worldwide politicians such as Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth have been morphed and have gone viral. Similar videos of some Indian politicians have also been made. Innocent people who are unaware of such a process tend to believe the videos and its contents to be true. Therefore, Plaintiffs apprehend that by using fake C.Ds. their reputation would be harmed."

The Ministers also produced before the court a printout of the screen shots of the telecasts in 'B' News Channel and 'B tv' News channel.

The court on going through the material produced before it said "From the above material, it is prima facie seen that although no CD's. are released, yet which are claimed in the said news items, it is being sensationalized that there are 19 more C.Ds. Of 19 influential persons and they may be released any time and they pertain to sex scandals and there is even reference to some Ministers. From the said printouts it is 'prima facie' seen that Media houses have still not received any C.Ds., but news items are being telecasted."

It added "Plaintiffs are holding High Offices in the Government of Karnataka and if unverified news items are telecasted or published it goes without saying that the same would cause irreparable injury to their reputation and also cause loss of respect in the Society and in their own families."

Judge Kumar opined that "Of-course, citizens have the right to know about their leaders. They have the right to know how their elected representatives are performing. Similarly, Media has the right to freedom of expression, and the duty to report such matters so as to appraise the people about the conduct of their elected representatives. Media is considered to be the 4th pillar of our Democracy. At the same time, plaintiffs have right to be protected against their character assassination on the basis of unverified material."

Placing reliance on the judgment in the case of the Swatanter Kumar Vs. The Indian Express Ltd. and others decided on 16.01.2014 in IA No.723/2014 in CS (OS) No.102/2014. The court observed "I am of opinion that the Media should walk an extra mile to get news item and its source verified through legally admissible process, whereupon, it should be ready to shoulder responsibility for such news items and then publish or telecast same, so as to advance cause of freedom of expression as well as right of the citizens to know about public affairs."

It added "But, at this stage, as can be seen from the printouts of the screen shots produced, new items are apparently in the nature of sensationalisation of the unverified material. Not even a clear foundation is available in the said news items."

Accordingly it held "I am of the opinion that it is necessary to injunct telecasting or publishing of any unverified news items against the plaintiffs/applicants."

Defendant no 2 TV 9 KARNATAKA AND NEWS 9REP BY EDITOR IN CHIEF/ DIRECTOR had filed a caveat in the morning. To which the court said "Now the said caveat petition is placed before the court. Whereas this suit has been filed on 05.03.2021 and IA No.1 was heard on the same day and the matter had been reserved for orders and in the morning session before commencement of the open court itself the order has been dictated and made ready. Hence after the order is ready the question of considering caveat does not arise."

The court issued notice to the defendants returnable on March 31


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