Several major Bollywood production houses and four film associations have launched a civil suit against India’s biggest news channels at the Delhi High Court. The lawsuit has been filed against two news channels, Republic and Times Now for alleged derogatory and defamatory comments about the film industry.
Those accused of dragging Bollywood’s reputation into the gutter include Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari, Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar. The move by the Bollywood fraternity includes A-listers Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Zoya Akhtar, have come together for a legal battle.
The petition against the Indian news channels claims that these Indian media houses must,
- Refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood and its members.
- Stop conducting media trials and stop interfering with the right to privacy of people associated with the industry.
- Withdraw, recall and take down all defamatory content that has been published by them against Bollywood.
The Indian film industry has rejected the use of derogatory terms such as ‘DIRT’, ‘FILTH’, ‘SCUM’ and ‘DRUGGIES’ in news reporting conducted by these Indian news outlets. These news platforms have also allegedly used expressions such as “THIS IS THE DIRTIEST INDUSTRY IN THE COUNTRY” and “COCAINE and LSD DRENCHED BOLLYWOOD” in their broadcasts.
The suit claims that the privacy of the members of the industry is being invaded and their reputation is being irreparably damaged by the alleged smear campaign run by these news channels.
As an example of the unsubstantiated and incorrect news being relayed by these channels, the suit mentions how, even after the Sushant Singh Rajput case was transferred to the CBI, the channels indulged in putting out reports suggesting that arrests would be made. However, nothing of that sort has happened. The film producers who have come together against Times Now and Republic also said that these channels have made a “mockery out of the criminal justice system”.
Watch The Quint’s explainer on the Bollywood vs Times Now and Republic,
Times Now Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar, in response, said cases against his channel’s journalists were “bad precedent”.
“Cases against journalists of Times Now 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 but they are wrong,” he tweeted.