HC asks Republic TV, Times Now not to air defamatory content on B’wood

Leading cinema bodies and production houses have sought ‘perpetual and permanent’ injunction on making or publishing content against film industry and others

Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court | File Photo: PTI

The Delhi High Court on Monday told news channels Times Now and Republic TV to ensure that no defamatory content against Bollywood or any member of the film industry is displayed on their channels or uploaded on their social media channels.

The High Court listed the suit for further hearing on December 14.

Thirty-eight leading cinema associations and production houses, including Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Ajay Devgn Films, and those owned by Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, had moved the Delhi High Court against Republic TV and Times Now and their senior editors, seeking “perpetual and permanent” injunction from making or publishing “irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks” against the film industry and those part of it.

The petitioners had sought the court’s intervention to ensure that the channels and their journalists abide by provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, and withdraw, recall and take down all alleged defamatory content published by them against Bollywood.

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The High Court asked the channels to respond to leading producers’ plea.

Also read: Bollywood drags Republic TV, Times Now to court for ‘irresponsible’ reporting

The lawsuit by four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading producers, has also sought to restrain them from interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with the industry.

It has sought direction to Republic TV, Times Now and unknown defendants as well as social media platforms to refrain from making or publishing allegedly irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood.

On October 23, the High Court said Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami can use the tagline ‘nation wants to know’ as part of his speech or presentation.

The court noted in its order that Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd (the owner of Times Now), which has filed a suit against Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, which owns Republic TV, has submitted that the journalist is free to use the same as part of his speech/presentation of any news channel.

“However, if Goswami or ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd choose to use ‘nation wants to know’ as a trademark regarding any of their goods/services, they will have to maintain accounts for such usage and the accounts shall be filed in court regularly,” it said.

“Regarding the tagline, no interim order is passed at this stage in favour of the plaintiff (Bennett Coleman). As submitted by the learned counsel for the plaintiff, defendant No. 2 (Goswami) is free to use the same as part of his speech/presentation of any news channel, etc,” Justice Jayant Nath said.

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