World news – IN – Delhi High Court notice to media houses on Bollywood bodies’ pleaen


The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to various media houses on a plea by four Bollywood associations and 34 leading producers seeking to restrain Republic TV, Times Now and other social media platforms from publishing irresponsible and defamatory remarks against Bollywood as a whole

Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the news channels to follow the Programme Code provided under the Cable Television Networks Rules while posting the suit for further hearing on December 14

He noted that courts hesitated in restraining media reports as it was a constitutional right “But, we expect fair reportage sadly, it is happening all over the world, not just in India”

It sought replies from Republic TV, its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and reporter Pradeep Bhandari, Times Now editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar and group editor Navika Kumar, and social media platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter on the suit

Recollecting the “lovely broadcasters in Doordarshan” in its heydays, the judge pointed to the “kind of language” TV news channels were using these days

“Now I am hearing that participants in TV debates are using cuss words because they get so excited If you keep egging them on, that is what happens”

The judge asked counsel for Republic TV and Times Now, “What is your answer to what is stated and what is being shown as content There are orders of the standards authority which is a programme code It seems that news channels are not following that”

The court said, “If you do not follow self-regulation, then what is to be done in a matter like this You are not following your undertaking to the court It’s a little disheartening and demoralises everyone”

Also Read | Producers Guild slam media for coverage of Bollywood, say ‘decency’ more important than ratings

Justice Shakhder clarified that media could “surely investigate But it has to be fair reportage” He said, “Please see what happened when media chased someone like Princess Diana You can’t just go on like this” The court referred to an incident where a school teacher almost got lynched after media reported that she disseminated obscene material to students

Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar, for the Bollywood associations and producers, referred to Republic TV show hosted by Arnab Goswami, where he referred to “a kingpin producer in Bollywood”, other references to “Bollywood’s rotting cabal” in reports on the Sushant Singh Rajput death case

“It started with the suicide reporting of Sushant Singh Rajput Suicide became murder Bollywood became criminals Bollywood then became drug peddlers and consumers Bollywood then becomes ISI links, pro-Pakistani jihadis,” Mr Nayar said

He referred to how actor Rhea Chakraborty’s WhatsApp chats concerning Narcotic Control Bureau probe were disclosed by news channels

Senior advocate Akhil Sibal, also appearing for the Bollywood associations and producers, referred to News Broadcasters Association (NBA) code, which cautions against media making conjectures and speculations in pending cases

The suit was filed in the wake of some news channels using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as ‘dirt’, ‘filth’, ‘scum’, and ‘druggies’  

Some of the producers who moved the High Court include — Dharma Productions, Aamir Khan Productions, Ad-Labs Films, Ajay Devgn Films, Yashraj Films, Salman Khan Films, Ashutosh Gowariker Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment 

The list also includes Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Reliance Big Entertainment, Rohit Shetty Picturez, Vinod Chopra Films, and Kabir Khan Films 

The producers and four Bollywood industry associations — The Film & Television Producers Guild Of India, The Cine & TV Artistes’ Association, the Indian Film and TV Producers Council and the Screenwriters Association — have sought direction to the news channels to abide by the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules 

The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood was being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the news channels and social media platforms, the association had said

“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 stated 

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The Ministry of Environment said the teams will visit Delhi and NCR towns – Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; Gurugram, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Jhajjar, Panipat, Sonepat in Haryana; and Bhiwadi, Alwar, Bharatpur in Rajasthan

Bollywood, High Court of Delhi, Times Now, Republic TV, Media

World news – IN – Delhi High Court notice to media houses on Bollywood bodies’ plea
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