Republic TV can report on Sunanda death but can’t insinuate Tharoor guilty: Delhi HC

Republic TV can report on Sunanda death but can’t insinuate Tharoor guilty: Delhi HC

The channel has been asked to do tempered and balanced stories. Right.

By NL Team

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The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed Republic TV to report on the death of Sunanda Pushkar, the wife of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, and asked the channel to run “tempered and balanced” stories. Not the qualities Republic TV is world famous for!

Tharoor had filed a case seeking an injunction restraining Republic TV from reporting on Pushkar’s death until the Delhi Police investigation into the death is complete. He had sought the restraining of the channel from maligning and defaming him. The order came in the ongoing defamation suit by Tharoor against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.

“Keeping in view, the aforesaid mandate of law and the prima facie findings, this court is of the opinion that in the present case, the defendants have the right to air their stories and the same cannot be curbed, but it has to be tempered and balanced,” ordered Justice Manmohan.

Tharoor’s wife Pushkar was found dead in Delhi’s Leela Hotel on January 17, 2014. In similar orders passed earlier, the high court had asked Goswami’s counsel Sandeep Sethi to bring down the “rhetoric” while reporting on Pushkar’s death. It had also asked Goswami to not make defamatory statements against the Congress lawmaker, to stop using the word “murder” instead of “death” and asked not to incite its reporters or guests to assume the criminal guilt of Tharoor.

Despite the court refusing to restrain reporting on Pushkar’s death, the above restriction will stay. In its present order, the court has said, “The press cannot, convict anyone or insinuate that he/she is guilty or make any other unsubstantiated claims. Press has to exercise care and caution while reporting about matters under investigation or pending trial.”

Goswami has been asked to give a written notice to Tharoor, “asking for his version” before airing stories related to Pushkar’s death. It has also said that the Thiruvananthapuram MP will not “be compelled to speak and the story will be aired with the disclosure” that he refused to give his statement. While breaking the “Sunanda Murder Tapes” and in the following days, Republic reporters were seen chasing Tharoor in every public place. In fact, a Republic reporter was heard saying “Why are you running away Mr Tharoor? Why are you running away like a coward?” when he had refused to speak to a bunch of Republic reporters in August.

Keep your fingers crossed for the next world exclusive!

Here’s the order: