The Delhi High Court today issued notice in the petition filed by Bollywood producers against Republic TV and Times Now
The Delhi High Court, while hearing a suit filed by leading associations and production houses of Bollywood against Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari, Times Now, Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar has issued summons and notices in the matter, directing Republic TV and Times Now to respond within two weeks.
The Court has directed Republic TV and Times Now to ensure that no defamatory content is displayed on their channels or uploaded on social media, and posted this case to be taken up next on December 14.
While hearing the plea, the court observed that reporting by media houses is not the issue but it is the manner of reporting which has been creating a problem.
Referring to an incident where a school teacher almost got killed by lynching by residents after media reported that she disseminated obscene material .
Also how in the case of Princess Diana, she died because she was racing away from the media, the court claimed that though this kind of reportage is taking place all over the world, ‘we expect clear reportage and neutrality’.
It raised objection to the kind of language being used by participants on Live TV channels.
“Now participants on TV are using cuss words on live TV channels because they get so excited.
If you keep egging them on, that is what happens”, opined the court.
The court furthered that there are certain guidelines that have been set by the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) which all the media houses should follow.
It said that toning down of language while reporting is what needs to be followed by media houses.
“What is that should be put in place to change the way the reporting is carried out?… There needs to be some toning down. There are orders of NBSA.
But it seems that news channels are not following that. As an officer of the Court, what is the next step here if you do not follow self-regulation? What are we to do about this?
It is a general remark across the board. All of you have to think about it. It is a little disheartening and demoralises everyone,” observed the court.
The plaintiffs had in the suit alleged that media, especially the two channels (Republic TV and Times Now) in question have been interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with Bollywood.
The court concurred and asked Republic TV and Times Now to refrain from using sharp language.
Justice Shakdher hesitated in restraining media reports since it is a constitutional right but maintains that it expects fair reportage which has been somehow diluted “not only in India but even globally”.
On October 12, Bollywood’s leading associations and production houses, including that of Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, had filed a suit in Delhi High Court against Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari, Times Now, Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar.
The law suit asks them to refrain from making ‘irresponsible, defamatory and derogatory remarks’ against Bollywood in wake of mysterious death of Sushant Singh Rajput and subsequent drug scandal that has emerged.
The Law suit also asks them to take down all “defamatory” content published by them against the film industry.
The Bollywood bigwigs are upset at the alleged use of words like “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” & expressions such as “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood” to describe the film industry.