Bollywood has dragged English news channels Times Now and Republic TV and their journalists to court for their “irresponsible” and “derogatory” reporting of the investigations into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and the drugs case that emerged after his passing away.
Leading Bollywood producers and some industry associations have filed the petition alleging that the reports are “defamatory” and seeking a restraint on the “media trial” of film personalities that interferes with their privacy.
Production houses headed by leading Bollywood personalities, including Shah Rukh, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Rohit Shetty, Ajay Devgan, besides Yash Raj Films, are part of the petition. They have asked the court to issue a direction to the channels to remove all the content that “defame” them.
The petition has named Republic TV and its journalists Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari, and Times Now and its journalists Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar.
The petition said the channels and social media platforms should “refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood and its members”.
The petition, which has been filed by DSK Legal on behalf of the producers and production houses, does not seek a blanket ban on reporting the investigations into Sushant’s death and the drugs case but rather that the channels and other media adhere to the Programme Code of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, a statement issued by the producers said.
The media outlets should be asked to refrain from using “derogatory” words such as “dirt, filth, scum and druggies” to refer to people in the industry. It took objection to the channels saying things such as “Bollywood is 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”, according to the statement.