In the wake of the news coverage amid Narcotics Control Bureau's probe in Bollywood's alleged drug nexus and the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, some of India's biggest film stars and production houses have filed a lawsuit against two leading news channels for 'irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks' against the industry.
From Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan to Akshay Kumar and Anil Kapoor, entire Bollywood has gone to court against Arnab Goswami's Republic TV and Times Now for 'defaming the industry'.
38 producers have filed a lawsuit in Delhi High Court against Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, Pradeep Bhandari, Times Now, Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar. This comes in the wake of media trials, which were allegedly conducted on national television by the aforementioned channels. The channels have used derogatory words like 'dirt', 'filth', 'scum', 'druggies' for Bollywood.
Through the suit, the Bollywood personalities and production houses have reportedly asked the news channel to abide by the provisions of the Programme Code framed under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and to withdraw, recall and take down all the defamatory content published by them against the Hindi film industry.
"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 work 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," states the suit.
The plaintiffs have clarified that they are not seeking a ban on the coverage of the investigation in Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, claiming that the channels have been '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.'