‘Ensure no defamatory content against Bollywood’: Court tells Republic TV, Times now

New Delhi: Nearly a month after leading Bollywood filmmakers filed a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court against “irresponsible reporting by certain media houses”, the court Monday said that “no  defamatory content” should be uploaded on social media or displayed on their channels.  

Some of the film industry’s biggest names, including Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, Karan Johar, Aditya Chopra and Farhan Akhtar, came together in the unprecedented legal action against two channels – Republic TV and Times Now.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the court said there needs to be some “toning down” and that the media channels were apparently not following the Programme Code. “If you (new channels) do not follow self-regulation, then what is to be done in a matter like this? You are prejudging issues. It is less news and more opinion,” observed the court.

The court said there needs to be some “toning down” and that the media channels were apparently not following the Programme Code. “If you (new channels) do not follow self-regulation, then what is to be done in a matter like this? You are prejudging issues. It is less news and more opinion,” observed the court.

“It is disheartening and demoralizing… I mean it demoralizes everyone. Today it is not hurting us (judiciary)… suppose it is your fraternity tomorrow. Surely, you can investigate but it has to be fair reportage,” the court said while addressing a lawyer representing Times Now.

Observing that people are “very scared” of the fourth estate, the court said no one wants to have their private life in public. “Surely, these are people who are public personalities so that element of privacy to an extent gets diluted… but please see what happened when the media chased someone like (Princess) Diana. You cannot go on like this. Courts are the last ones who want to interfere…. but what is happening here… is that you do not want to follow the code?”

The court also commented on debates being broadcasted on news channels and said there was “no civility in (their) discourse”. “Now I am hearing participants in debates are using cuss words because they get so excited. If you keep egging them on, that is what happens,” it added.

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