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"You Have Acted As A Judge, Jury And Executioner In Breach Of All Journalistic Ethics": Republic TV Sends Legal Notice To Indian Express On Arnab Goswami Story

Akshita Saxena
26 Jan 2021 7:50 AM GMT
You Have Acted As A Judge, Jury And Executioner In Breach Of All Journalistic Ethics: Republic TV Sends Legal Notice To Indian Express On Arnab Goswami Story
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The Republic TV news channel has sent a legal notice to the Indian Express, asking them to cease and desist from reporting fake and unsubstantiated news against Republic TV in respect of the alleged TRP scam. The channel has primarily opposed a news report published by the Indian Express on January 25, where it is claimed that Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami bribed former...

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The Republic TV news channel has sent a legal notice to the Indian Express, asking them to cease and desist from reporting fake and unsubstantiated news against Republic TV in respect of the alleged TRP scam.

The channel has primarily opposed a news report published by the Indian Express on January 25, where it is claimed that Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami bribed former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta to raise their TRP rankings.

In the legal notice, sent through Phoenix Legal, it is stated that Indian Express' report titled "Arnab Goswami paid me $12,000 and Rs 40 lakh to fix ratings: Partho Dasgupta" is a vexatious campaign to tarnish the reputation of Republic TV and is intended to further Indian Express' own commercial and corporate interests through sensationalism.

The notice states,

"The very headline of your news report would mislead any reader into wrongly believing that, as a matter of fact, payments were made by our client, Mr. Goswami to Mr. Partho Dasgupta. Such a headline is squarely deliberate and mischievous."



It is stated that Indian Express deliberately omitted to mention in their report that the above statement was extracted by the Mumbai police from Mr. Partho Dasgupta under coercion and duress, is inadmissible in law, and has already been denied by Mr. Dasgupta himself.

Reference is made to Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act which lays down that a confession made to a police-officer shall never be proved as against a person accused of any offence and under Section 26 it is clear that it is only when a confession is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate that it may be considered valid.

Overt denial of manipulation of data to benefit Republic in Partho Dasgupta's bail application

The notice states that in the Bail application filed by Mr. Dasgupta on 6 January 2021 before the Sessions Court, Mumbai, it is clearly stated that there was no manipulation of TRP by the Republic Media Network.

Inter alia, the notice draws attention to several allegations made by Dasgupta's family and his subsequent transfer to JJ Hospital from Taloja Jail, indicating that the alleged confession was made under duress and custodial torture.

Contempt of Court

It is further pointed out that investigation of the matter is underway and it is also pending consideration before the Bombay High Court, and that such biased reports are nothing but criminal contempt of Court.

The notice states,

"You have acted as a judge, jury and executioner in breach of all journalistic ethics and against the well-settled law. By concealing material facts, pronouncing our client guilty of TRP manipulation, even though the matter is pending investigation and is also sub judice, your assertions amount to criminal contempt of court.

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The news report is a vile, hateful, malicious attempt by you and part of a severely prejudicial campaign engineered and implemented by the Indian Express aimed at attempting to irreparably destroy their (Republic TV's) reputation as well as the reputation of the Republic Media network."

Republic TV has therefore demanded Indian Express to cease from publishing such defamatory reports against them. It has also sought an unconditional public apology and issue a corrigendum clarifying the correct facts.

Background

The Mumbai Police had claimed that Partho Dasgupta had in alleged connivance with another ex-senior BARC official and Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, manipulated the television rating points (TRP) of Republic TV and its Hindi arm.

The Crime Branch has charged him under sections 409(criminal breach of trust by a public servant), 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court is seized with a petition filed by Republic TV challenging the investigation against it.

Click Here To Download Notice

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