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Arnab Goswami is free to report on Sunanda Pushkar case

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MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court on Friday refrained from issuing any interim order restraining journalist and editor Arnab Goswami and his channel Republic TV from airing news or debate in connection with Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death case. 

As the case was sub-judice, Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani chose not to comment on the latest order while talking to Indiantelevision.com

Pushkar was found dead in a South Delhi five-star hotel on the night of 17 January, 2014. The matter is being investigated.

Earlier, in May-end, the Delhi HC had sent a notice to Goswami asking him to avoid rhetoric in the story in the Tharoor’s defamation plea. Justice Manmohan had then observed: “You cannot call him names. That is uncalled-for.”

While the channel was then careful in how it reported about the case, a senior advocate, appearing for Tharoor, said some Republic TV reporters were not taking the same care while tweeting. 

The Lok Sabha MP had filed a civil defamation suit against Goswami and the channel, seeking damages and compensation of Rs 20 million.

Now, a day ago, Justice Manmohan issued a notice to Goswami and the channel seeking their responses on Tharoor’s plea to restrain them from allegedly misreporting the contents of court proceedings in Pushkar case. The court said the subject needed detailed hearing and, only then, a detailed verdict could be given.

The judge now stated the Congress leader had not shown any law by which investigation could be done by the journalist/editor. “Show me that after the first date of hearing (29 May), he (Goswami) has called you a murderer,” the judge said, adding: “I cannot dictate what should be the editorial policy of a news channel.” “Certainly, the public surely has the right to know what has happened in the case. The police has not even filed a chargesheet for last three and half years,” the judge said. 

Tharoor, who was second in the race to become the UN secretary-general, had alleged that, after the last date of hearing on 16 August, the journalist/editor and his channel continued to indulge in misreporting and had broadcast an eight-hour programme on 4 September related to his wife’s death.

The politician had also sought direction to the channel and its editor that they should not mention the expression “murder of Sunanda Pushkar” anywhere, since it is yet to be established by a competent court whether her death was “murder.”

Tharoor, in the petition earlier, had stated: “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."

Also Read:

Republic TV & Pushkar's kin restrained, hearing on 21 Sept

Arnab Goswami told to respect Tharoor's right, Delhi HC hearing on 16 Aug

Shashi Tharoor files defamation case against Arnab Goswami's Republic

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