Plea seeks to restrain news channels from making derogatory remarks against Bollywood; Delhi HC issues summons

ANI
·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

New Delhi [India], November 9 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued summons and notice to Republic TV, Times Now and others on a suit filed by Bollywood filmmakers seeking directions to refrain these channels from making "irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory" remarks against Bollywood as a whole and "conducting media trials" of Bollywood personalities.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher also asked media organisations and others to file written submission and listed the matter for further hearing on December 14. It also sought a list of amended memo of parties within five days.

The Bench recorded in its order that defendants have assured that they will follow the Programme Code and the Cable TV Rules and asked media organisations to come up with a "reasonable solution" regarding the improvement of news reporting standards.

During the hearing, the bench observed out that black and white Doordarshan was much better and said the courts hesitate in restraining media reports observing that it is a constitutional right but it expect some fair reportage.

It also mentioned that Princess Diana died because she was racing away from the media and remarked that they should be put in place to change the way the reporting is carried out and there needs to be some toning down.

The court opined that even if the issue regarding the privacy of public figures is diluted, news channels cannot drag their personal lives into the public domain.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for Times Now, questioned the maintainability of the plea and told the court that aggrieved one were not before the court and some third party has come before the courts.

Appearing for Republic TV, advocate Malavika Trivedi told the court that the media had played a beneficial role in various cases.

The court asked media organisations to "rise above his brief" and answer larger issues and what is that should be put in place to change the way the reporting is carried out.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the petitioners including The Film and Television Producers Guild of India, submitted that the "defamatory campaign" started against Bollywood with reportage on Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide and thereafter "suicide became a murder, Bollywood (celebrities) became criminals, drug peddlers, ISI, and Pro Pakistani Jehadis".

"That is how the course of this course of the entire defamatory campaign - scurrilous, I must say - has changed," Nayar said. He also refered to bail order where one accused lawyer submitted that he was carried away by news channel reporting on the Disha Salian case and added that this is to show how public perception is influencing all kinds of people.

Advocate Akhil Sibal, also appearing for the petitioner, submitted that there is now a disjunct between journalism, which has certain principles associated with journalism, and news media, a certain section of which seems to have abandoned those principles and referred to the NBA code that cautioned media for making speculations in pending cases. (ANI)