On Monday, four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading production houses filed a civil suit before Delhi High Court, praying that the court direct the news channel Republic TV, Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari of Republic TV, the news channel Times Now, Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar of Times Now, and unknown defendants as well as social media platforms to refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against the Hindi film industry as a whole and members of Bollywood.
The suit also sought to restrain the news channels from conducting media trials of Bollywood personalities and interfering with right to privacy of people associated with the film industry.
The plaintiffs also prayed that the defendants abide by the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, and to withdraw, recall and take down all defamatory content published by them against Bollywood.
Times Now's news anchors Navika Kumar and Rahul Shivshankar took to Twitter to react to the lawsuit.
Tagging Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar, Navika tweeted: "If fighting for justice invites court cases, bring it on. All the a-listers can come together but India will continue to fight for the truth. You can’t intimidate us @TimesNow & can’t take away the viewers who believe in us. Let Truth prevail. @aamir_khan @iamsrk @karanjohar"
"Cases against journalists of @TIMESNOW that have only sought justice for those who are wronged are a bad precedent. The mighty may think they can weaken the resolve of the fearless at #TIMESNOW but they are wrong. @aamir_khan @ajaydevgn @karanjohar @KanganaTeam @BeingSalmanKhan," wrote Rahul Shivshankar.
The lawsuit comes in the wake of the above-mentioned channels using words and expressions for Bollywood such as "dirt", "filth", "scum" and "druggies", and expressions such as, "it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned", "all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood", "this is the dirtiest industry in the country", and "cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood".