Regulators

Delhi HC notice to Goswami, asks for avoiding rhetoric in Tharoor-Sunanda story

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NEW DELHI: Even as it asked him to avoid rhetoric in his reports, the Delhi High Court today issued notice to Republic TV and Arnab Goswami over the Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s defamation plea.

Fixing the next date of hearing to 16 August, Justice Manmohan observed: “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.”

Lok Sabha MP Tharoor had filed a civil defamation suit late last week against Goswami and the TV channel, seeking damages and compensation of Rs 20 million 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 and created a ‘non-existing controversy’ by maligning Tharoor’s public life and image.

The petition said, “It is not out of place to say that Goswami and the TV channel broadcast news reports and ‘alleged expose’ which were intended to lead the viewers to believe that the deceased was murdered either by Tharoor or at his instance. 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 (Times Now), which was restrained by the National Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The Congress MP 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.

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