Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday filed a civil defamation suit against Arnab Goswami and newly- launched news channel Republic TV in the Delhi High Court claiming damages and compensation of Rs two crore for allegedly making defamatory remarks towards him while airing news relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.
The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram has also sought a direction from the High Court to restrain the TV channel from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife till the investigation is completed by the Delhi police.
The Congress leader, in his lawsuit, has made Goswami and Arg Outlier Media Asianet News Private Limited, the company which owns Republic TV, as parties.
He has referred to the broadcasting of news items from May 8 to 13 when the TV channel claimed to air an expose connected to the death of his wife.
The lawsuit filed through advocates Muhammad Ali Khan and Gaurav Gupta denounced the news, claiming that the recordings were released in a sensational manner so as to appease the viewers and created a non-existing controversy by maligning his public life and public image.
“It is not out of place to say that defendants (Goswami and TV channel) broadcast news reports and alleged expose which were intended to lead the viewers to believe that the deceased was murdered either by plaintiff (Tharoor) or at the instance of the plaintiff.
“Such a broadcast clearly has the potential of adversely impacting the ongoing investigation into the death of the deceased,” the plea said, while seeking to restrain from “maligning and defaming him in any manner” by reporting or broadcasting the news relating to the death of Pushkar.
Tharoor also said earlier Goswami as the editor-in-chief with another TV news channel had aired such news, which was restrained by the National Broadcasting Standards Authority.
In the lawsuit, he was entitled to Rs two crore damage and compensation “for having suffered humiliation and having suffered severe loss of reputation in the eyes of the public and he has baselessly been declared by the defendants as the alleged murderer of his late wife”.
He stated that the police is probing into the matter and has also lodged an FIR.
“It is pertinent to mention that the Delhi Police took statements from a number of people, including him,” the suit said, adding that during the probe not a single allegation has been made by the investigating authorities against the MP.
Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.
Goswami had carried out a campaign against Tharoor even when he was associated with his previous employer, Times Now.
(With PTI inputs)