Why Zee Media won’t let Palki Sharma Upadhyay join Network18

The backstory of how the TV network and one of its star anchors ended up in the Delhi High Court.

ByAyush Tiwari
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Why Zee Media won’t let Palki Sharma Upadhyay join Network18
Gobindh VB
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to restrain former WION editor Palki Sharma Upadhyay from joining Network18. The anchor was taken to court by her previous employer, Zee Media Corporation Limited. 

Zee Media went to court against the anchor in October, nearly a month after she left the network for greener pastures as a managing editor at Network18.

According to Bar and Bench, the court also recorded an undertaking by Upadhyay’s counsel that “she will not divulge any sensitive or confidential information that she may have been privy to during her engagement with the Zee to any third party”.

Zee had given the court a long list of its grouses against Upadhyay. Its suit sought two permanent injunctions against her. First, to prevent her moving on to the rival network owned by billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani until June 2023. Second, to restrain her from divulging any confidential and proprietary Zee information to her new employers.

The network also wanted damages worth Rs 2 crore as well as a declaration from Upadhyay that she had breached the terms of her Zee contract and notice period policy. Moreover, it asked the court to direct the journalist to work for Zee until December this year.

The rumblings in September

Upadhyay joined WION, Zee network’s English news channel, in 2017 as associate editor and became its managing editor in April 2022. A Zee internal performance review accessed by Newslaundry rated her as a “top talent”. Five months later, she was gone. Upadhyay had previously worked for ITV and Network18.

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