Leading Bollywood producers Monday approached the Delhi High Court, seeking to restrain Republic TV and Times Now from making or publishing “irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks” against the film industry and conducting media trials against its members.
The lawsuit by four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading producers –– including most major names –– also sought to restrain the news persons and channels from interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with the industry. It has sought direction to Republic TV, its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and reporter Pradeep Bhandari; Times Now, its editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar and group editor Navika Kumar, and unknown defendants to refrain from irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood.
Times Now’s Kumar and Shivshankar have reacted to the lawsuit. While Kumar tweeted that if “fighting for justice invites court cases, bring it on”, Shivshankar said “The mighty may think they can weaken the resolve of the fearless at #TIMESNOW but they are wrong.”
If fighting for justice invites court cases, bring it on. All the a-listers can come together but India will continue to fight for the truth. You can’t intimidate us @TimesNow & can’t take away the viewers who believe in us. Let Truth prevail. @aamir_khan @iamsrk @karanjohar
— Navika Kumar (@navikakumar) October 12, 2020
Cases against journalists of @TIMESNOW that have only sought justice for those who are wronged are a bad precedent. The mighty may think they can weaken the resolve of the fearless at #TIMESNOW but they are wrong. @aamir_khan @ajaydevgn @karanjohar @KanganaTeam @BeingSalmanKhan
— Rahul Shivshankar (@RShivshankar) October 12, 2020
The suit filed through DSK Legal firm said, “This comes in the wake of these channels using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” and expressions such as “it is Bollywood 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”.
“The Plaintiffs are also praying that the Defendants abide by the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, and to withdraw, recall and take down all the defamatory content published by them against Bollywood,” a statement from the plaintiffs said.
Those who went to court include The Producers Guild of India, The Cine & TV Artiste Association, Aamir Khan Productions, Ajay Devgn Fflims, Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network, Arbaaz Khan Productions, Ashutosh Gowarikaer Productions and Dharma Productions.
The producers have pointed out that on “several previous occasions, some of the Defendants have been penalized and reprimanded and have had orders passed against them by Courts and authorities for irresponsible reportage and defamatory content and have been found guilty of broadcasting unsubstantiated and incorrect news.”
They have clarified that they are “not seeking a blanket gag order against media reportage” of the Sushant Singh Rajput death probe or the NCB FIRs, but “merely seeking perpetual and mandatory injunction against the Defendants from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws.”