Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV has reportedly threatened a news website of ‘consequences’ if it went ahead and reported the mass withdrawal of advertisers from the TV channel following the leaked WhatsApp chat between the controversial anchor and former CEO of BARC, Partho Dasgupta. The portal, BestMediaInfo, said in a report that Goswami’s media outlet served a ‘cease and desist’ notice via legal firm, Phoenix Legal, on 12 February.
The report by BestMediaInfo said, “During its detailed research, BestMediaInfo.com found that more than 40 of the country’s top brands (names withheld) had stopped advertising on Republic Media Network between October and December 2020.”
The report said that Phoenix Legal served a ‘cease and desist’ notice with a warning of ‘consequences’ after the website approached Arnab Goswami’s CEO for his reaction on advertisers severing ties with Republic TV.
The notice by Republic TV read, “Despite this notice, if you proceed to publish the proposed article or any article relating to our clients with unverified facts and misleading contents, you shall render yourselves jointly and severally liable to face appropriate civil as well as criminal proceedings under the relevant provisions of law at your risk as to cost and consequences.”
Goswami triggered a huge controversy after his WhatsApp chat with Dasgupta was leaked allegedly by the Mumbai Police. Dasgupta is currently in police custody for his alleged role in the TRP scam. The Bombay High Court extended the interim protection from arrest for Goswami in the TRP scam till 5 March.
In the viral WhatsApp chat, the Republic TV founder was seen predicting the Balakot airstrikes three days before the Indian Air Force carried out the extraordinary military operations deep inside Pakistan in February last year. He was also seen rejoicing over the Pulwama terror attack.
BestMediaInfo claimed that ‘more than 30 advertisers pulled out advertising from Republic’s channels in January when the purported WhatsApp chats between Goswami and former BARC India CEO were first published by BestMediaInfo.com.’
In a sensational development, Arnab Goswami had filed a criminal defamation case against his former colleague Navika Kumar of Times Now accusing her of being jealous of his success.
This was after Goswami sent a legal notice to The Indian Express for carrying a report on the Mumbai Police’s charge-sheet in the TRP Scam case. In his legal notice sent through Phoenix Legal law firm, Goswami had expressed his disappointment accusing the The Indian Express of having ‘acted as a judge, jury and executioner in breach of all journalistic ethics and against the well-settled law.”