The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the Centre's reply on actor Rakul Preet Singh’s plea to stop media houses from connecting her with the Rhea Chakraborty drug case and said leaks to the media need to be investigated as "someone's reputation is totally destroyed by it".
Justice Navin Chawla issued a notice to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Prasar Bharti, the Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association seeking their stand on the actor's petition.
The court also asked all the four respondents to treat her plea as a representation and take a decision on it expeditiously before the next date of hearing on October 15.
It also expressed hope that "media houses would show restraint in their reports and abide by the cable TV regulations, programme codes and various guidelines, statutory and self- regulatory, while airing any reports with regard to the petitioner".
During the hearing, the court observed that "there has to be some kind of restraint (by media)".
The central government, represented by Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, said the actor was seeking a blanket ban or injunction which ought not to be granted.
The ASG said the actor had made no complaint to the government or any other authority and there are no specific allegations against a media house or channel.
The actor, represented by advocate Aman Hingorani, has claimed in her plea that Chakraborty had already retracted the statement in which Preet Singh was allegedly named and yet the media reports were connecting her to the case.
She has contended that based on unsubstantiated allegations defamatory programs were being aired which was causing irreparable harm and injury to her.
“They're showing my morphed pictures and pictures from film sets to paint a narrative, to hound me, and link me to some sort of a drug gang. Media is harassing me; they're coming to my house. Please issue ad interim direction to stop broadcasting of maligning and defamatory content against me. Media trials violate my right under Art 21 of the Constitution, court must interfere,” she argued.
Hingorani, during the hearing via video conference, said if such programs are not stopped the actor might lose all her endorsements and it might also adversely affect her films which are on the floor presently.
He also said that there was no time to move the ministry or any other authority as the defamatory programs were going viral on social media.