MP Shashi Tharoor has accused news anchor Arnab Goswami of Republic TV of deliberately tarnishing his image to increase the ratings of his channel, reports G Anand of The Hindu.
Tharoor told a magistrate court in Thiruvananthapuram where he appeared on Wednesday in a defamation case filed by him, that he was unfairly linked to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
He also said he was vilified by Republic TV and its news anchors.
He told the court that Republic had used the vilest of language and put out a series of lies to tarnish his image and rouse suspicion.
Tharoor spent over 15 minutes in the witness box explaining the grief he had endured after the channel had unfairly linked him to his wife Sunanda Pushkarâ€™s death in a hotel suite in New Delhi in January 2014.
"When the New Delhi police has not concluded there is any crime involved and has not filed any charge against me, the anchor used the vilest language to insinuate that I had some dubious role in the death of Sunanda Pushkar" Tharoor deposed.
Tharoor also said, â€śThe public appeared misled by Arnab's lies as evidenced in the large number of adverse posts in the social media. The defamation should be penalised to prevent those media persons who often act with impunity as police, judge and executioner, all rolled into one.â€ť
â€śGoswami called for my arrest and had termed me a coward for not coming on the Republic TV show to answer his lies, Tharoor said.
Republic TV headed by Goswami during its launch in May, had aired tapes of a conversation between a reporter and Tharoor's assistant Narayan on the night of Pushkar's death. The channel had claimed it as an expose against which Tharoor first lashed out through a tweet and later filed a defamation case against Goswami.
The next hearing of the case will be on July 20.