A Judicial First Class Magistrate’s Court in Kannur has summoned journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami in a criminal defamation case filed against him for allegedly humiliating the people of Kerala during a debate on his channel.
The complaint has been filed by CPI(M) leader P Sasi, who has stated that Arnab Goswami called Keralites ‘shameless people’ during a debate on whether the Centre had refused to accept aid from UAE government to Kerala for flood relief.
According to a report in Mathrubhumi, Arnab had said: “This group is shameless, is the most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen, they have gone around spreading the lie religiously. I don't know what they get for it. Whether they get paid for it? Do they get paid money for abusing their own country? Are they part of a group who are they funded by? Point is it is a conspiracy to malign India.”
The CPI(M) leader has sought an unconditional apology from the journalist as well as a donation of Rs 10 crore to the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund. In his petition, Sasi has accused Arnab of ‘propagating violence’ and ‘belittling Malayalees’.
“Arnab's comments were not clinical criticism as a journalist. As a Malayali, I was also humiliated. Arnab has to seek pardon with the same significance as that of the discussion broadcasted in the channel. If he fails to do so, I will move forward with legal action,” the leader has added.
Admitting the petition, the court has issued a notice to Arnab Goswami asking him to appear before it on June 20.
However, a story on NewsLaundry that analysed the news telecast had said that the anchor was referring to Congress, Left and 'tukde-tukde gang' as shameless and not Mayalalis.
Arnab Goswami was earlier summoned by a trial court in Thiruvananthapuram in connection with a criminal defamation case filed by Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor had alleged that Goswami made defamatory statements against him in a program aired on his channel in connection with the death of Tharoor’s wife, Sunanda Pushkar. Arnab then had moved the Kerala High Court and the Kerala HC had later stayed the proceedings in the criminal defamation case.