B'wood Producers' Plea: HC Seeks Replies from Republic, Times Now

A civil suit was filed by leading Bollywood producers against Republic TV and Times Now.

2 min read
Arnab Goswami, Navika Kumar, Rahul Shivshankar (L) and Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan.

The Delhi High Court on Monday (9 November) issued summons and notice to Republic TV and Times Now and asked them to respond to the leading Bollywood producers’ plea seeking to restrain the channels from making or publishing allegedly “irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks" against the film industry and conducting media trials against its members, as per a report by PTI.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher also asked the media houses AGR Outlier Media Pvt Ltd and Bennett Coleman and Company Ltd to ensure that no "defamatory content" is uploaded on social media platforms or aired on their channels, the report added.

The counsel for the media houses reportedly gave assurance to the court that they will follow the programme code. The high court listed the suit for further hearing on December 14.

During the hearing, the high court told the channels, "Media can't run a parallel trial. You're a broadcaster... show news. There is less news and more opinion", as per a report by NDTV.

The court also recalled the circumstances under which Princess Diana passed away. "Bollywood celebrities are entitled to privacy. Look what happened in the case of Princess Diana... she died because she was being chased by the media. You can't just go on like this. The courts are the last ones to want to regulate," Justice Rajiv Shakdher reportedly said. The judges also observed that the language and manner of television channels have to be correct.

Speaking about Doordarshan, Judge Shakdher reportedly said, "We expect fair reportage but sadly that is not happening. Not just in India but across the world. We used to find Doordarshan stale but now I wish it comes back. The black n white Doordarshan was so much better".

On 12 October, a civil suit was filed before the Delhi High Court by four Bollywood industry associations and 34 Bollywood producers against Republic TV, Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari (of Republic TV), Times Now, Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar (of Times Now) and unknown defendants as well as social media platforms to refrain from "making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood".

Among the studios that filed the petition were Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment, Salman Khan Films, Aamir Khan Productions, Ajay Devgn Films, Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Filmz, Zoya Akhtar’s Tiger Baby and Farhan Akhtar's Excel Entertainment.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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