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Republic TV files defamation case against Times Now’s Navika Kumar

The channel claimed Kumar went after Goswami because she’s jealous of his professional success.

NEW DELHI: Republic TV has filed a criminal defamation complaint against Times Now anchor Navika Kumar for making “reckless” and “grossly defamatory” remarks about its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami while covering the TRP manipulation case.

The channel has alleged that during a news segment on the alleged WhatsApp chats between Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta which aired on 18 January, Kumar "misused, misconstrued and distorted" the facts mentioned in the Mumbai police chargesheet and accused Goswami of building his success by rigging viewership ratings.

“Without regard to the matter being sub judice both before the lower courts at Mumbai and the Bombay high court, the accused person (Kumar) 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,” the petition filed by the channel’s parent company ARG Outlier Media stated in the petition filed before the chief metropolitan magistrate at Patiala House court.

The channel went after Kumar, calling her "jealous" of Goswami's professional success and she intended to further her own corporate interests “as a part of a planned scheme and to take advantage of the ongoing deep-seated malice” that the Mumbai police bears towards Republic TV and its upper management.

“It is in fact for the reason that the complainant company in itself has now gathered attraction that the accused 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,” Republic TV alleged.

It is also pointed out that Kumar made "rabid and unfounded claims" accusing Goswami of "endangering national security" and "leaking state secrets.” The network has asked for the court to initiate action against the Times Now journo under section 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with defamation.

It seems Republic TV is on a litigation spree. Earlier this week, the channel served a legal notice to The Indian Express for its article reporting that BARC's ex-chief Partho Dasgupta said in a written statement to the police that he had allegedly been bribed by Goswami to manipulate television ratings. Further, Republic and the Times Network are already engaged in a war of words over the TRP rigging case, accusing one another of resorting to unfair means to gain the upper hand in the ratings game.

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