Delhi HC slams news channels after filmmakers, producers take legal action; Mentions Princess Diana's case
In the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput's demise, two news channels were slapped with defamation by Bollywood leading filmmakers, actors, producers and associations.
Almost a month after Bollywood's leading producers, filmmakers and various associations came together and took legal action against two national news channels, the Delhi High Court on Monday slammed these channels for showing less of news and 'more opinion'. The legal action was taken by industry's top stars like Aamir Khan, Zoya Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and Farhan Akhtar against media houses for 'irresponsible reporting' and addressing celebrities as well as the industry as 'scum, filth and druggies' among others.
In the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput's demise, two news channels have been slapped with defamation complaints by these stars. The Delhi HC took this case in account and directed the news channels to stop airing 'defamatory content'. Justice Rajiv Shakdher told the channels that the media cannot run a 'parallel trial' in a probe that is already being investigated by three central agencies.
The court also cited Princess Diana's case who died in a car crash in 1997 while being chased by the paparazzi in France. The court said, "You're a broadcaster... show news. There is less news and more opinion," adding that "things are being pre-judged".
During arguments, the judge also said that celebrities are entitled to privacy. Justice Rajiv Shakdher remarked, "Bollywood celebrities are entitled to privacy. Look what happened in the case of Princess Diana... she died because she was being chased by the media. You can't just go on like this. The courts are the last ones to want to regulate."
The judge added, "Even cuss words are being used during live debates. Nobody is stopping from reporting but language and the manner has to be right."
The court has now directed the channels to not air 'defamatory content' as well as not publish it on social media. It has also asked the channels to file their responses in two weeks time and mentioned the days of Doordarshan. Justice Shakdher said, "We expect fair reportage but sadly that is not happening. Not just in India but across the world. We used to find Doordarshan stale but now I wish it comes back. The black and white Doordarshan was so much better."