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Arnab Goswami, Republic TV get HC notice on Tharoor’s plea in Pushkar case

Shashi Tharoor alleged that despite an assurance given in the court on May 29 by the counsel for Arnab Goswami and Republic TV, they were engaged in “defaming and maligning” him.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2017 16:48 IST
Soibam Rocky Singh
Soibam Rocky Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arnab Goswami,Shashi Tharoor,Tharoor Republic TV
Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor and Shashi Tharoor.(HT File Photo)

The Delhi high court on Friday issued a notice to Republic TV and Arnab Goswami on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s plea seeking its direction to restrain the channel and the journalist from “misreporting” the case of his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death.

Tharoor on Thursday alleged that despite an assurance given in the court on May 29 by the counsel for Goswami and the news channel, they were engaged in “defaming and maligning” him.

“If he (Republic TV) wants to investigate the case, we can’t stop it. The only matter is he should not call you (Tharoor) names,” the high court said adding that Tharoor’s right to silence has to be respected.

The high court did not give any interim order on Tharoor’s plea to restrain Republic TV from making defamatory publications against him. It said there was “no urgency” as the main case, in which Tharoor has filed a Rs 2 crore defamation case against Republic TV, is coming up for hearing on August 16.

Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, appearing for Tharoor, said Republic TV was “making a complete mockery of court proceeding”. Khurshid contended the news channel was pre-empting the investigation by calling Pushkar’s death as a case of murder.

To this, the judge said, “To say it’s a case of murder which needs to be investigated, I don’t think it should be a problem...”

In May this year, the high court said the news channel can air stories by stating the facts related to the investigation into the death of Pushkar, but cannot call the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram a “criminal”.

Tharoor said in his application the expression “murder of Sunanda Pushkar” should not be used as it is yet to be established by a competent court of law that her death was “murder” to ensure the trial was not prejudiced.

“Numerous shows, debates, interviews etc are being broadcasted repeatedly on the news channel of the defendants, wherein innuendos are being used to portray that the plaintiff was complicit in the unfortunate death of the deceased,” Tharoor said in the application. “There have also been instances when the plaintiff has been categorically called to be the killer of the deceased,” it added.

Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five-star hotel in south Delhi on January 17, 2014. The matter is still under investigation.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 13:43 IST