The suit says that this is in the wake of these channels calling Bollywood ‘dirt,’ ‘filth,’ ‘scum,’ ‘druggies’.

A collage of Rahul Shivshankar Arnab Goswami Navika Kumar and Pradeep Bhandari
news Court Monday, October 12, 2020 - 17:33

Four Bollywood industry associations and thirty four leading Bollywood producers have filed a civil suit before the Delhi High Court against Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari, and Times Now’s Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar, over their coverage of the drugs probe being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. The suit seeks directions from the Delhi High Court refraining the channels from making or publishing “irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks” against Bollywood and the members of the film fraternity. 

The plaintiffs from Bollywood include several prominent production houses like Red Chillies Entertainment, Yashraj Films, Dharma Productions, Salman Khan Films, Vinod Chopra Films, Excel Entertainment, Aamir Khan Productions, Ajay Devgn Fflims, Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures, Kabir Khan Films, Ashutosh Gowariker Productions, and others.

“This comes in the wake of these channels using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as ‘dirt,’ ‘filth,’ ‘scum,’ ‘druggies’ and expressions such as ‘it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned,’ ‘all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood,’ ‘This is the dirtiest industry in the country,’ and ‘cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood’,” the suit says.

The lawsuit has asked Delhi High Court to pass directions ordering these two channels to withdraw, recall and take down all the defamatory content published by them against Bollywood. The suit also asks the channels not not to conduct media trials of Bollywood personalities and to stop interfering with the privacy of those associated with Bollywood. 

The suit also seeks that the channels and the four people mentioned abide by the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

“The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the Defendants,” the civil suit, filed by the firm DSK Legal states. “This is in addition to the ongoing pandemic which has resulted in extreme revenues and work opportunity loss. The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals, seeped in drug culture, and making being part of Bollywood as synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination,” the suit adds. 

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