The Delhi High Court on Monday will hear a petition filed by four Bollywood associations and 34 producers to seek a restraint on Republic TV and Times Now channels from making or publishing what they dubbed as ‘irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory’ remarks against the Hindi film industry and its members.
The matter is listed before the court of Justice Rajiv Shakhdar. The plea had also sought to restrain the news channels from conducting “media trials” of Bollywood personalities and interfering with their right to privacy.
The petitioners also urged the court that the defendants abide by the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, and to withdraw, recall and take down all defamatory content published by them against Bollywood.
This comes in the wake of alleged use of words and expressions like “dirt”, “filth”, “scum” and “druggies”, “it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned”, “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood”, “this is the dirtiest industry in the country”, and “cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood” by these channels.
The privacy of members of Bollywood was being invaded, the plea contended, and their reputations irreparably damaged by painting the entire industry as criminals seeped in drug culture. To be a part of Bollywood was being painted as being synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination, the petitioners said.
Almost all well-known names in Bollywood are represented, including Producers Guild of India, Cine and TV Artiste Association, Film and TV Producers Council, and Screenwriters Association.
In all, 34 production houses have also been represented: Aamir Khan Productions, Ad-Labs Films, Ajay Devgn Films, Andolan Films, Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network, Arbaaz Khan Productions, Ashutosh Gowarikaer Productions, BSK Network and Entertainment, Cape Of Good Films, Clean Slate Filmz, Dharma Productions, Emmay Entertainment and Motion Pictures, Excel Entertainment, Filmkraft Productions, Hope Production, Kabir Khan Films, Luv Films, Macguffin Pictures, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, One India Stories, RS Entertainment, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Red Chillies Entertainment, Reliance Big Entertainment, Reel Life Productions, Rohit Shetty Pictures, Roy Kapur Productions, Salman Khan Ventures, Sohail Khan Productions, Sikhya Entertainment, Tiger Baby Digital, Vinod Chopra Films, Vishal Bhardwaj Film, Yash Raj Films.
According to the plaintiffs, the channels in question have been regularly flouting the Programme Code framed under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and contained in Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, which governs the television channels.
Citing an example of reportage on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the petitioners said that though they do not seek a blanket gag order against media reportage into the case investigation but merely sought a perpetual and mandatory injunction against the defendants from carrying on with the reportage that violates applicable laws. The suit has been filed by DSK Legal on behalf of the plaintiffs.