Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami may face intense grilling in the Delhi High Court as the cross-examinations are set to commence in May this year in a defamation case filed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. The Congress leader too will have to stand in the witness box, but sources close to him said that he was relishing the idea of ‘ripping apart’ the Republic TV anchor.
Among other questions, Goswami will have to face intense examination on the following points;
- Whether the statements in the broadcasts aired between 8 May 2017 and 11 May 2017 on Republic TV, if made by the defendants, were true and justified in the domain of fair comment or qualified privilege, and if so, to what effect?
- Whether the defence of provocation and personal animosity are made out in the present case.
- Whether Goswami has adhered to journalistic norms and standards and not violated any such norms. Whether Goswami has been continuously broadcasting unconfirmed and one-sided news reports against Tharoor.
- Whether Goswami has had the history of broadcasting incorrect and unsubstantiated news reports.
The court will also examine if Tharoor is entitled to compensation and damages as prayed in the suit. Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, Gaurav Gupta, who’s one of the lawyers representing Tharoor in the defamation case, said, “The cross examination of both Mr Tharoor and Arnab Goswami is likely to commence from 10 May. Mr Tharoor and witnesses related to his case will be the first to step inside the witness box followed by the cross examination of Arnab Goswami, as indicated by his counsel.”
Tharoor had filed defamation case claiming damages and compensation worth Rs 2 crore against Goswami and his channel in May last year. The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram had also sought a direction from the High Court to restrain the TV channel from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife, Sunanda Pushkar, till the investigation is completed by the Delhi police.
A Republic TV journalist, who claimed that he was assigned to harass Tharoor, had later resigned from the channel. Another Republic TV journalist had resigned complaining fear, intimidation and harassment by her bosses at the channel. Shweta Kothari, who was a senior correspondent with the channel founded by Arnab Goswami, said that she faced constant harassment on suspicion that she was a plant by the Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor.
Among those who’ve funded Republic TV is the Rajya Sabha MP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who was formally nominated for the Upper House by the BJP on Monday.