A Delhi court issued summons to Republic Media, its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, and News Broadcasters Standards Association (NBSA) on Thursday in a defamation suit filed by the Popular Front of India, Live Law reported. The suit has been filed over a news report on the recent open fire incident in Assam.
On September 23, two locals were killed as the Assam Police opened fire on people protesting the eviction of over 800 families by the state government in the Darrang district of the state. Residents settled in and around Dholpur, the locality in question, are said to mostly comprise of Bengali-speaking Muslims.
The Islamic organisation PFI mentioned in its suit that Republic Media had published a news article titled Darrang firing: 2 arrested with PFI links, accused of ‘mobilizing crowds’ for protest and its television channel Republic TV had telecast news on September 27 with the headline Assam Violence Probe: 2 PFI Men Arrested…… PFI Men accused of conspiracy… The police has nabbed two PFI Men Md Asmat Ali Ahmed and Md Chand Mamud.
The PFI has accused the channel of making false and shallow accusations against the organisation “with the intent to provoke the people and further to cause prejudice to its name, goodwill and image by making slanderous statements.”
In the defamation suit, the organisation claims that the aforementioned reports are “baseless” and made without any evidence. It further adds that the two persons mentioned in the news telecast are not members of the PFI.
Strongly condemning Republic TV‘s “irresponsible reporting” and accusing both the television channel and the website of “malicious intention” in their reportage, the suit seeks Rs 1 lakh in damages.
It further seeks a permanent injunction restraining Republic Media and Goswami from further “tarnishing or defaming PFI by way of publishing or telecasting any such news on their news channel” and an a mandatory injunction directing NBSA to take appropriate action for the code violation.
The matter has been scheduled for hearing on January 3.