The court did not pass any interim order injuncting the channel from airing its news
New Delhi: Journalist Arnab Goswami and his news channel Republic TV were on Monday asked by the Delhi high court to “bring down the rhetoric” against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who has filed a Rs 2 crore defamation suit against them for alleged slanderous remarks relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
Justice Manmohan said the journalist and his news channel can put out stories by stating the facts related to the investigation into the death of Pushkar, but cannot call the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram a “criminal”.
The court also said that just because Mr Tharoor was not coming to their show or not giving an interview, cannot be a reason to say that he was “running away”, as was said on the news channel.
A person has a “right to be silent”, it said with regard to the lack of response from Mr Tharoor and added that “someone has not understood how our law operates”.
The observations by the court came as it issued notice to the journalist and his channel seeking their response to Mr Tharoor’s plea claiming Rs 2 crore damages from them for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him while airing news relating to the death of his wife.
The court did not pass any interim order injuncting the channel from airing its news, but said “whatever be the provocation, you (Mr Goswami) cannot call him a criminal masquerading as a politician. That is uncalled for and it is presumptive”.
“You cannot use language like this. You cannot call him names. Bri-ng down the rhetoric,” the court said. There-after, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the journalist and the channel, said he will advise his clients accordingly.