The Delhi High Court on Tuesday extended its interim order till May 25, asking media houses ARG Media Outlier and Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd to not upload or broadcast any defamatory content that would malign the Hindi film industry, Live Law reported.
In October 2020, several production houses had filed a civil suit with the Delhi High Court against news channel Republic TV and its anchors Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari and Times Now and its anchors Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivashankar for “irresponsible reporting”.
The suit also sought to restrain them from conducting media trials of Hindi film personalities and interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with the Hindi film industry and to ensure that the channels comply with the Program Code laid down under the Cable TV (Regulation) Act, 1994.
The lawsuit came in the wake of a few channels using derogatory words and making remarks about members of the film industry, while reporting on the alleged suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and the subsequent Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) investigation.
Consequently, the production banners of Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, and Karan Johar filed the suit. The production banners that are a part of this case are Aamir Khan Productions, Dharma Productions, Red Chillies Entertainment, Salman Khan Ventures, Yash Raj Films, Clean Slate Filmz, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Rohit Shetty Pictures, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Vinod Chopra Films, Vishal Bhardwaj Film, Ajay Devgn Films, Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network, Arbaaz Khan Productions, Sohail Khan Productions, Ashutosh Gowarikar Productions, Cape of Good Films, BSK Network and Entertainment, Emmay Entertainment & Motion Pictures, Excel Entertainment, Filmkraft Productions, Hope Production, Kabir Khan Films, Luv Films and Macguffin Pictures.
Other plaintiffs include The Producers Guild of India, The Cine & TV Artiste Association, The Film and TV Producers Council and Screenwriters Association.
While senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar offered to withdraw the suit if the media houses agreed to the court’s earlier order of not uploading or broadcasting any defamatory content, Bennett Coleman Group representative Sandeep Sethi said that they disagreed with the court’s order and challenged the maintainability of the suit “on the grounds that none of the associations or production houses that had filed the suit had in fact been defamed”.