In a huge relief to Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed the defamation proceedings against him filed by a CPI-M activist at a lower court. The judicial magistrate court of Kannur in Kerala in March had summoned him for allegedly humiliating Keralites during a debate on his channel when the devastating floods hit the southern Indian state last year.
Appearing before the high court, Goswami’s lawyer P Vijayabhanu argued that the complaint filed by the CPI-M worker was based on a ‘distorted version of the broadcast.’ Vijayabhanu added that Goswami’s debate was to highlight those with vested interests, who had blamed the Centre’s Narendra Modi government to stop the relief aide from the UAE.
Goswami’s lawyer, according to the LiveLaw website, also argued that the complainant did not qualify as an aggrieved person, as the broadcast was directed against the false campaigners and not against the entire Keralite community. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan, after considering the arguments made by Vijayabhanu, admitted the petition and stayed the proceedings in complaint.
A CPI-M leader had filed a case against Goswami for calling people of Kerala shameless. CPI-M leader P Sasi had approached the court after serving a legal notice to Goswami in September last year.
Goswami was accused of calling Kerala’s flood victims shameless after the state government accepted the reported offer of help from the UAE government to rebuild Kerala, which was ravaged by the floods. In the viral video,which was a part of his show, Goswami was seen saying, “This group is shameless, is the most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen. They’ve gone around spreading the lie religiously. I don’t know what they get for it. Whether they get paid for. Do they get paid money for abusing their own country..point is there is a conspiracy to malign India.”
In his letter to Goswami, Sasi had asked him to either apologise to the people or pay Rs 10 crore in compensation.
No sooner had the clip surfaced on Twitter, users began to target Goswami and the Malayali co-founder of Republic TV, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, with the hashtag