The Delhi High Court directed the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Thursday to take action against media channels that are not members of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), in a plea filed by actor Rakul Preet Singh alleging them of broadcasting “maligning campaign” against her, Live Law reported.
Singh, who has predominantly worked in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films, moved the High Court in September 2020 to restrain the “trial by media” that allegedly linked her to the ongoing drug probe during the investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
Rajput died by suicide on June 14, 2020 in Mumbai, that sparked several controversies regarding mental health issues and nepotism in the Hindi film industry. It also resulted in a massive drug probe being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Soon after the arrest of actor Rhea Chakraborty, who Rajput had been dating before he died, in the drugs case, Singh was summoned by the NCB.
Singh stated in her plea that there was a “slander campaign” run by the media against her that had caused irreparable damage to her and her family, affected her commercial status interests, and invaded her right to privacy.
The court directed the ministry to file a status report in December 2020 on the video links produced by Singh on the offending broadcasts for which the ministry submitted reports but some additional links are yet to be examined.
The reports submitted by the ministry stated that according to the court’s order, it has forwarded the directions to the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and has asked for a report on the same after due examination.
On Thursday, a single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba Singh directed the I&B Ministry to take action against respective liable channels for violating the Programme Code in the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. The court also mentioned that it has issued an advisory to all private satellite television channels to adhere to the Programme Code.
According to the NBA’s report, the NBSA has passed 10 orders following Singh’s complaint taking actions against 13 media organisations including OTV, ETV Andhra Pradesh, CNN News 18, ABP News, Zee News, Zee 24 Taas, Zee Hindustan, India Today, Aaj Tak, News Nation, India TV, Times Now, and Asianet News TV.
The next hearing for the case will take place on May 20.