he Delhi High Court on Thursday directed Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-chief, of the Republic TV, to be bound by a statement given to the court in December 2017 that he will “exercise restraint as well as bring down the rhetoric” when covering the Sunanda Pushkar death case.
A single-judge bench presided by Justice Mukta Gupta said that since there was an investigation being carried out by a duly authorized agency and a Court of competent jurisdiction had taken cognizance, the statements of Goswami that he still had no doubt that Sunanda was murdered, are statements which insinuated Tharoor had committed a murder. These sorts of insinuations were forbidden by the decision of the Court dated December 1, 2017.
The Court was hearing an application filed by Dr. Tharoor seeking an interim injunction against Goswami and his channel from making defamatory remarks against him in connection with the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
In broadcasts in the months of July and August, Goswami through a live telecast claimed that he and his channel had investigated Sunanda Pushkar’s case better than the police and that he still had no doubt that she was murdered.
While asking Goswami to exercise “restraint”, Justice Gupta remarked it was for the court of law to decide about the evidence in a criminal case.
“Were you at the spot, are you an eye-witness?” the court asked when Goswami’s counsel Malvika Trivedi said a certain broadcast on the channel was made on the basis of “evidence” from an AIIMS doctor.
In 2017, Tharoor had filed a suit in the High Court seeking compensation and damages from Goswami for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him and sought that Goswami be restrained from reporting about the death of his wife. While the HC had declined to restrict Goswami then, his counsel had given an undertaking that he would exercise restraint in reporting the case.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Vikas Pahwa appeared for Dr. Tharoor.