The Delhi High Court on Thursday came down heavily on Arnab Goswami as it directed the Republic TV founder to exercise restraint in the coverage of the Sunanda Pushkar death case. This was after Congress MP Shashi Tharoor moved the High Court seeking an interim injunction restraining Goswami from making defamatory remarks against him with respect to the ongoing criminal proceedings.
The single-judge Bench of Justice Mukta Gupta said that responsible journalism was the need of the hour. According to Bar and Bench website, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal represented Tharoor as he asked, “Chargesheet has been filed. Can a man be abused?..alleging that there was a murder. How can this happen?”
The court was informed how Goswami had broadcast defamatory content on multiple occasions in July and August this year claiming that he had investigated the Sunanda Pushkar death case better than the Delhi Police.
The court asked Goswami’s lawyer, Malvika Trivedi, “Were you at the spot? Are you an eye witness? There is sanctity of the investigation.” To which Trivedi replied that Goswami had broadcast his programme based on evidence from the AIIMS. “This is not evidence. They are statements from here and there. A court has to take a point of view on what is evidence. You are nobody in the field to get evidence or get access to evidence.. understand what is evidence in criminal law,” the high court was quoted by Bar and Bench.
The court also said that ‘people must take a course in the criminal trial and then get into journalism.’
According to Livelaw, the court reprimanded Goswami as it said, “When a case under abetment to suicide is made out in the charge-sheet, why are you still saying that murder has been committed?…Just because there’s a bite mark, it doesn’t amount to murder. Do you even know what constituted a murder?”
Goswami was reminded about his responsibility as a journalist in December 2017 in the same matter. The Republic TV founder had assured the court that he was cautious and have never imputed that the Congress leader was guilty in the case.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday reminded Goswami’s lawyer that the Republic TV founder’s counsel had given an undertaking in December 2017 that restraint would be shown and rhetoric would be brought down while covering the Sunanda Pushkar case.
The court directed Goswami to exercise restraint till the next date of hearing on 20 November.