Shashi Tharoor defamation case: ‘Bring down the rhetoric’, Delhi HC tells Arnab Goswami

Shashi Tharoor's defamation suit seeks damages and compensation of Rs 2 crore from Arnab Goswami for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him during a news broadcast related to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 29, 2017 7:55 pm
Shashi Tharoor, shashi tharoor defamation plea, republic tv, republic tv-arnab goswami, shashi tharoor, Arnab Goswami, goswami, goswami defamation, delhi high court, india news, indian express From left: Journalist Arnab Goswami and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to journalist Arnab Goswami and his newly-launched news channel Republic TV over Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s defamation plea. “Bring down the rhetoric. You can put out your story, you can put out the facts. You cannot call him names. That is uncalled for,” Justice Manmohan said while issuing notice. The court also sought their replies by August 16, the next date of hearing.

The court also said that just because Tharoor was not coming to their show or not giving an interview, cannot be a reason to say that he was “running away”, as was said on the news channel. A person has a “right to be silent”, it said with regard to the lack of response from Tharoor and added that “someone has not understood how our law operates”.

The observations by the court came as it issued notice to the journalist and his channel seeking their response to Tharoor’s plea claiming Rs two crore damages from them for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him while airing news relating to the death of his wife.

The court did not pass any interim order injuncting the channel from airing its news, but said “whatever be the provocation, you (Goswami) cannot call him a criminal masquerading as a politician. That is uncalled for and it is presumptive”. “You cannot use language like this. You cannot call him names. Bring down the rhetoric,” the court said.

Thereafter, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the journalist and the channel, said he will advise his clients accordingly. Sethi also said that his clients will place on record the justification for the statements made against Tharoor and therefore, no interim order should be passed.

On Friday, the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram had filed a civil defamation suit against Goswami and the TV channel, seeking damages and compensation of Rs 2 crore for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him during a news broadcast related to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

The lawsuit filed through advocates Muhammad Ali Khan and Gaurav Gupta claimed that the recordings were released in a sensational manner with an aim to appease the viewers and created a non-existing controversy by maligning his public life and  image. “It is not out of place to say that defendants (Goswami and TV channel) broadcast news reports and alleged expose’ which were intended to lead the viewers to believe that the deceased was murdered either by plaintiff (Tharoor) or at the instance of the plaintiff. Such a broadcast clearly has the potential of adversely impacting the ongoing investigation into the death of the deceased,” the plea said.

Tharoor said Goswami had earlier aired similar news when he was the editor-in-chief with another TV news channel, which was restrained by the National Broadcasting Standards Authority. He also said the police was investigating the matter and had also registered an FIR. “It is pertinent to mention that the Delhi Police took statements from a number of people, including him,” the suit said. It also stated that during the probe not a single allegation has been made by the investigating authorities against the MP.

With PTI inputs



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  1. D
    May 31, 2017 at 1:05 pm
    Arnab once in a talk show said he opposed beef ban and people has to decide their choice, but now the same mouth saying he is welcoming the beef ban, not to slaughter cows. Why the double standards Arnab? Lot of press uism is happening here in India. Now the media also becoming more corrupt like our politicians?
    1. R
      Rajendra Mohan Kapoor
      May 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm
      Arnab shld accept the 2-Crore challenge of Tharoor on the condition tht if Tharoor found guilty then he wl pay double the amt to Arnab... I am sure that the way Arnab is heading, he wl win...
      1. S
        May 30, 2017 at 1:57 pm
        Arnab is in a tearing hurry to settle down , so leaving no stone unturned to say ' I exist n doing well ' but he is seasoned enough to know and follow limits ..
        1. B
          May 30, 2017 at 12:17 pm
          OMG ! like seriously, forget about Arnab Goswami. He is of the least concern when it comes to this particular situation of Sunanda Pushkar. Putting him and his channel aside, do you genuinely believe that Mr. Tharoor didn't murder his own wife ? oh come on guys ! which world are we living in ? Indian Express should probably stop encouraging scripted/controlled contents favoring the fuel of the company. This is such an unethical approach to journalism. You are setting very wrong standards for the future of this country. This could lead to an extensive use of anti-national mannerism in your organization in future.
          1. S
            Shailaja Sundararaman
            Jun 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm
            The problem is, Mr Bharath, facts exist outside the little world that is solely made of what we believe or don't. If it is conclusively proven in a court of law that Mr Tharoor murdered his wife, only then can we or a channel or a paper say that he murdered his wife. Until then, he may be a suspect according to what evidence is presented but not a convict. So, temper your views accordingly.
          2. R
            May 30, 2017 at 3:49 am
            Arnab Goswami and his ilk amd all their supporters and the current ru dispensation......THE MUCH TOUTED INDIAN CULTURE AT ITS BEST ??
            1. S
              SK Gupta
              May 30, 2017 at 2:57 am
              Very appropriate comments by the Delhi High Court! Goswami had crossed all limits in that program, which I too saw. Goswami misuses the freedom of the press. Delhi police must expedite the case of Sunanda Pushkar's murder. They are delaying the w investigation. Tharoor should be presumed to be innocent till he is proved to be guilty.
              1. S
                S.K. Express
                May 30, 2017 at 12:37 am
                What about freedom of speech, tolerance, etc?
                1. S
                  S Rajan
                  May 29, 2017 at 11:22 pm
                  The observations made by the judge are very appropriate and to the point. Goswami is an arrogant and headstrong when he opens his mouth before his TV camera. This time the court should put him in his proper place.
                  1. R
                    May 29, 2017 at 11:38 pm
                    why is shashi not wil to answer media ?? why is he not bothered how his wife died ?? he seems to be running away ? why ?
                    1. A
                      Aswini Khuntia
                      May 30, 2017 at 7:20 am
                      There is already an investigation going on.He has given his statement infront of Delhi police.There is a judicial system in our country and we should respect that.As because he is a politician we suspect him.If anybody saw that program of Mr.Goswamy will hate Mr.Tharoor .Lets wait and watch and till he found guilty by the court of law , he is innocent.
                      1. S
                        Jun 1, 2017 at 12:18 pm
                        shashi tharoor has the right to remain silent and i think he prefers to police and court to do the talking, let us not ume anything and ask arnab to turn down the rhetoric as the high court is saying.
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