Republic TV Files Defamation Case Against Times Now’s Navika Kumar

The petition alleged that Republic TV has been the target of a “vicious, vindictive and malice driven exercise”.

2 min read
Navika Kumar Broadcasted WhatsApp Chats of Arnab Goswami. 

Republic TV filed a criminal defamation case in Delhi court against Times Now’s anchor Navika Kumar on Thursday, 28 January, for allegedly making “rabid and unrounded claims” in connection with the TRP Scam case against the channel’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami during her show, Newshour, reported LiveLaw.

Republic Media Network advocate, Ayush Jindal, filed a plea under Section 499/500 of the IPC, urging the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House court to take cognisance, summon and punish Kumar, reported LiveLaw.

The petition alleged that Republic TV has been the target of a “vicious, vindictive and malice driven exercise” by the Maharashtra government and Kumar “as a part of a planned scheme and to take advantage of the ongoing deep-seated malice” wanted to further her own corporate interests, reported LiveLaw.

“By misusing, misconstruing and distorting the documents from the Mumbai Police’s chargesheet in the TRP Scam, mainly the WhatsApp Chats, and without regard to the matter being sub judice both before the lower courts at Mumbai and the Hon’ble Bombay High Court, the Accused Person has gone on a reckless spree to spew grossly defamatory material mentioned below that has been telecast, published, circulated and disseminated on the TV Channel Times Now as well as the internet in various portal such as the YouTube,”said the petition, reported LiveLaw. 

The plea claimed that Kumar’s statements amongst which had accused Goswami of “endangering national security” and “leaking state secrets” arose out of professional jealousy and rivalry stating, "The Accused (Navika Kumar) is jealous and the lack of ability of the Accused to match the success of the Complainant company, has caused this defamatory show to be aired,” reported LiveLaw.

References to Balakot, Pulwama in Goswami’s Purported Chats

The alleged chats between Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta include several controversial alleged conversations between Goswami and Dasgupta regarding various news events (and Republic’s coverage of them), including the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strike in February 2019.

On 14 February 2019, a terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy near Pulwama led to the deaths of 40 military personnel. In alleged texts to Dasgupta on the day, Goswami first purportedly mentions that his channel was “20 min ahead on the biggest terrorist attack of the year in Kashmir”.

He then appears to go on to say, with regard to his channel’s coverage: “This attack we have won like crazy”.

On 23 February 2019, three days before Indian Air Force conducted a retaliatory strike on a reported terrorist camp in Pakistan at Balakot , Goswami allegedly told Dasgupta that “something big will happen.”

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