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Sunanda Pushkar case: Delhi HC tells Republic TV to ‘show restraint’

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has directed Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Republic TV, to “be bound by” his undertaking on “showing restraint and bringing down the rhetoric” while covering the Sunanda Pushkar case.

Justice Mukta Gupta was hearing in a plea moved by Shashi Tharoor, seeking interim injunction against Republic TV’s Editor Arnab Goswami, restraining him from reporting any news or broadcasting any show related to the death of Sunanda Pushkar till the present case is pending and also to restrain him from maligning and defaming the plaintiff in any manner.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, on behalf of Tharoor, argued that defamatory content was broadcast by Goswami on multiple occasions in July and August, which claimed that Goswami had investigated the Sunanda Pushkar case better than Delhi Police and that he still had no doubt that Pushkar was murdered.


Sibal further submitted:

“Can a man be abused like this in a public debate? How can he (Goswami) say that a murder was committed, when the charge sheet says otherwise? This can’t continue like this till this court hears the matter.”

Advocate Malvika Trivedi, Councel for Arnab, informed the Court that there was evidence from AIIMS, based on which certain broadcast was aired.

The court noted: “When a case under abetment to suicide is made out in the charge-sheet, why are you still saying that murder has been committed. Were you there at the spot, are you an eye-witness? You must understand and respect the sanctity of criminal investigation and the various contours of it. Just because there’s a bite mark, it doesn’t amount to murder. Do you even know what constituted murder? You need to first understand what murder is before claiming that a murder took place.

“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 court remarked.

The court further observed that when a charge sheet has been filed by an agency authorised to conduct investigation and a competent court, while taking cognisance of the same, has prima facie concluded that the case involves abetment to suicide and not murder, the statements made by the defendant insinuating murder being committed by Tharoor violates the directions of this court’s previous order.

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Court reiterated:

“The defendants are therefore directed to be bound by the statement as recorded… Till the next date.”

The matter will be heard next on November 20.

-India Legal Bureau

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