A civil suit has been moved in a Mumbai court seeking to restrain Republic TV, R Bharat, and news anchor Arnab Goswami from discussing or referring to the FIR registered by the Mumbai police alleging manipulation of TRP ratings by TV channels. An FIR in the case has been registered at Kandivali police station.
The suit filed by one Iqbal Shaikh, a former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, also sought Rs 5 Lakhs for damages to the mental agony caused to the plaintiff on account of the ‘defamatory reports’ against Mumbai police.
“When a case is under investigation under statutory provisions, the Defendant No. 1 (Goswami) cannot be granted the liberty to discuss his own case and arbitrate it in his own TV channels by defaming Mumbai Police,” read the plea.
The petitioner further alleged that Goswami has been conducting debates and airing stories in connection with the case which may influence the investigation. “The Plaintiff submits that the Defendant No. 1 has transgressed his limits as an owner of two most popular TV Channels and has started pursuing his own agenda by being the Editor-in-Chief and by blurting out large sermons about his own case which is under probe by a statutory body,” read the suit.
The petition also states that Republic TV violates the statutory guidelines issued by the Press Council of India (PCI) that requires the owner/management of a media establishment and the editor to be independent of each other.
Yesterday, Republic TV one of the three channels accused in the TRP scam, and Arnab Goswami moved the high court seeking quashing of the FIR registered in the case and its transfer from Mumbai Police to Central Bureau of Investigation.