New Delhi, October 12: Tussling with media houses for defaming the Bollywood industry, Bollywood’s leading associations, and production houses come together and file the civil suits in the Delhi High court against some media houses including Republic TV, Times Now. The suit was filed against media houses for conducting media trials of Bollywood personalities and interfering with the right to privacy of persons associated with Bollywood.
The suits ask the news channel to Abide by the provisions of the Programme Code and to withdraw, RECALL and take down all the 'Defamatory' content published by them against Bollywood. The suit has been filed by DSK Legal on behalf of the Plaintiffs which includes four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading Bollywood producers. Four cine-associations and 34 production houses including the ones owned by Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Rakesh Roshan, Salman Khan and his brother Sohail Khan, Ajay Devgn, and Aditya Chopra amongst others have filed the suit.
The Bollywood bigwigs are upset at the alleged use of words like “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” & expressions such as “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood” to describe the film industry.
Filed by DSK Legal, the suit states, "The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the Defendants. This is in addition to the ongoing pandemic which has resulted in extreme revenues and works opportunity loss. The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals, seeped in drug culture, and making being part of Bollywood as synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination."
It is pointed out that these reporters have previously been penalized and reprimanded and have had orders passed against them by courts for irresponsible reportage and defamatory content. Further, they have previously been found guilty of broadcasting incorrect news, the producers claim. They also allege their privacy is also invaded and reputation “irreparably damaged” by painting the entire industry seeped in the drug culture.
Moreover, it is alleged that these news channels have been "openly flouting" the Programme Code framed under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 contained in Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994. "These Defendants are conducting and publishing parallel private ‘investigations’ and effectively acting as “courts” to condemn persons connected with Bollywood as guilty based on what they claim is “evidence” found by them, thereby trying to make a mockery of the criminal justice system."
However, stating all this the producers make it clear that they are not seeking a blanket ban on coverage related to the investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput case. They have sought permanent injunctions against Goswami, Shivshankar & co "from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws".