Will we see more debates on Republic TV on the death of Sunanda Pushkar? Not if Shashi Tharoor has his way.
The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram on Friday filed a defamation case against the channel's founder Arnab Goswami in the Delhi High Court.
The 151-page suit filed against ARG Outlier Media and Arnab Goswami seeks damages and compensation of Rs 2 crore.
The complaint also seeks an injunction which will prevent Republic TV from broadcasting any programmes related to the death of Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor's late wife, till the police investigation is completed.
It states that Goswami has been resorting to "unverified, unethical and brash journalism and deliberately made malicious and defamatory remarks against the plaintiff in a sensational manner." The complaint accuses Goswami of doing this in Times Now and has been continuing it in Republic TV.
The affidavit states it is a "classic case where not only the reporter heaped judgmental accusation against the accused by branding him guilty, but even the editorial section of the broadcaster added insult to injury by using offensive and uncharitable taglines during the broadcast".
All Republic TV broadcasts regarding the Sunanda Pushkar case have been transcribed by Tharoor's team and added as part of the suit.
Pleased to confirm this story. We filed today in Delhi High Court. Had enough of his campaign of calumny. https://t.co/ThcI7AHGiu— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 26, 2017
One audio tape that was aired on the recently launched channel, was a conversation between Sunanda Pushkar and journalist Prema Sridevi. The channel also aired another conversation between Prema and Tharoor’s domestic help Narayan.
At that point, Tharoor had said that he was furious that his personal tragedy was being exploited.
The MP's complaint comes just a week after Times Now, Goswami's previous employer, filed a criminal complaint against him for theft and copyright violation over the stories broadcast on Republic TV.
The channel claimed that the tapes related to Sunanda Pushkar and another featuring a conversation allegedly between former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and jailed former MP Shahabuddin had been recorded when Goswami was with Times Now.
And in taking the tapes to Republic TV, the senior journalist had breached the contract of employment with his former employer.
Earlier this week, the Delhi HC issued a notice to both Goswami and Prema Sridevi over the allegations of intellectual property theft and copyright violation levelled against them by the Times News Network (TNN).
Disclosure: TNM co-founder Chitra Subramaniam is an Editorial Advisor at Republic, in her individual capacity.