BCCL has said that audio tapes featuring conversations with Sunanda Pushkar were “procured and accessed” by Arnab Goswami, while he was employed with Times Now.

Times Now files complaint against Arnab for theft after Republic TVs expos on TharoorFile Image: Republic
news Media Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 13:14

Recently launched news channel Republic TV’s ‘exposé’ on the mysterious death of Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar has landed its founder Arnab Goswami into a legal tangle. His former employers, television news channel Times Now has now filed a criminal complaint against him for theft and copyright violation over the story that was broadcast on Republic TV.  

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), the parent company which owns Times Now and various other media outlets, filed a complaint in Mumbai against Arnab and another former employee journalist Prema Sridevi.

The Economic Times also owned by the Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) reported that the company has filed a police complaint at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan Police Station.

A FIR has been filed under sections of 378 (theft), 379 (theft) ,403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 405 (criminal breach of trust), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), 414 (assisting in concealment stolen property) and 418 (cheating with knowledge of wrongful loss) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 66-B, 72 and 72-A of the IT Act, 2000, reported ET citing sources. 

The case pertains to the audio tapes of telephonic conversations played by Republic TV, which was launched on May 6. While one audio tape allegedly featured a conversation between former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and jailed former MP Shahabuddin, another tape that was broadcast on Republic TV was between Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Shashi Tharoor and Prema Sridevi, who was then working with Times Now.  Republic TV also aired another conversation between Prema and Tharoor’s domestic help Narayan.  

While airing the tapes, Goswami had repeatedly hinted that he was no longer under any pressure and Tharoor 'could not call his bosses'. Prema Sridevi had said during the programme that they had been forced to air the tapes as the Delhi police had not taken any action in the case.

ET reported that in its complaint, BCCL has said those audio tapes were “procured and accessed” by former Editor-In-Chief of Times Now Goswami and Sridevi while they were employed with Times Now.

Reacting to the complaint, Arnab Goswami said: 

This is the second legal tangle between Republic TV and BCCL.

BCCL in the April 2017, had sent a legal notice over the issue of using the phrase- “Nation Wants to Know".

At that time, Goswami had taken to social media and said that he was threatened with imprisonment by a media group if he were to ever use that phrase on TV.

According to BCCL, the notice was a ‘caution notice’ as Republic TV applied for a trademark on the phrase in January 2017 months after Times Now had applied for trademark registration.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Brijesh Kalappa has also threatened to file defamation charges after Arnab launched into a tirade, calling him mentally unstable on air.


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