Mumbai: A former assistant commissioner of police (ACP) has filed a defamation suit against Arnab Goswami and ARG Outlier Media Network Private Limited - the company that owns Republic India and Republic Bharat - for running a sustained defamation campaign against Mumbai Police for the latter's probe in the TRP scam case.
The former officer has sought that an injunction be issued, restraining the channels from discussing the case either directly or indirectly. He has also claimed damages of Rs 5 lakh for causing mental agony and loss of reputation, having been a decorated officer of the institution.
Iqbal Shaikh, who is also a recipient of the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry said the “smear campaign” has aggrieved him, as he takes pride in his legacy in the illustrious force. It has consequently caused harm to his reputation, as he is a former police officer.
The suit, filed through advocate Abha Singh before the City Civil Court said that in open contempt of the Press Council of India guidelines, which requires the owner/management to be distinct from the editor, Goswami tripled as owner and director, editor-in-chief and third, as the main anchor of debates. He was misusing his position, it stated, annoyed that he had to face investigation and added that he was "serving his private interest as owner of the TV channel, to wriggle out of the case".
Goswami, it said, had transgressed his limits as owner and was “pursuing his own agenda, being editor-in-chief is blurting out large sermons about his own case which is under probe by a statutory body”.
The owner could not prevail over the editor to serve his private interests, it said and mentioned that as an accused in the case, he could not be given the right to spread malice and disinformation related to his own case, it added.
The matter being under the watch of a magistrate to whom a copy of the FIR has been submitted and before whom arrested accused were presented, the suit said such a defamatory campaign could undermine the judicial process.