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HC notice to Arnab Goswami, Republic TV on Tharoor’s defamation suit

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New Delhi, May 29:

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to journalist Arnab Goswami and his news channel Republic TV on a defamation suit filed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor claiming Rs 2 crore damages from them for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him with regard to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

Goswami’s Republic TV had recently aired what it called an expose in the death of Pushkar, playing tapes of a conversation between a reporter and Tharoor’s assistant Narayan on the night of Pushkar’s death. Pushkar was found dead in a five-star hotel in south Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.

Justice Manmohan sought response from Goswami and news channel on Tharoor’s defamation suit and said they can air stories by stating the facts related to the investigation into the death of his wife Pushkar, but cannot call him a “criminal”.

The court said that they (Goswami and his channel) cannot use such language.

“You cannot call him names. Bring down the rhetoric,” it told the journalist and channel as it sought a response from them by August 16.

Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Tharoor, told the court that since May 6, when the channel was launched, it has been airing 3-5 hours long news shows every day entirely on the case of Pushkar’s death and making defamatory statements against his client.

The channel and the journalist have condemned Tharoor as guilty and said he should be arrested, he said.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the channel, however said that it has only aired facts regarding the investigation.

Tharoor, in his suit, said he has suffered humiliation and severe loss of reputation in the eyes of the public.

He has baselessly been declared by them as the alleged murderer of his late wife, said the plea, seeking a permanent injunction against the channel from reporting or broadcasting any news regarding Pushkar’s death until investigations are complete. (IANS)