Arnabgate: Republic TV sends legal notice to Indian Express

Republic TV has claimed that IE's report makes a vile, hateful and malicious attempt to tarnish Arnab Goswami’s reputation

Republic TV

Republic TV has sent a legal notice to Indian Express for its story titled Arnab Goswami paid me $12,000 and Rs 40 lakh to fix ratings: Partho Dasgupta dated January 25.

This stems from the Mumbai Police’s claims that former Chief Executive Officer of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Partho Dasgupta had in alleged connivance with another ex-senior BARC official and Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, manipulated the television rating points of Republic TV and its Hindi channel. The Indian Express’s impugned story reported on the same allegation.

The legal notice is to “cease and desist from reporting fake, unsubstantiated, false and unverified news against Republic TV in respect of the alleged TRP scam being investigated by the Mumbai Police; remove the false news report from all mediums; and to publish an unconditional apology to Republic TV for reporting such false and fake stories and issue a corrigendum clarifying the correct facts, in all print and digital media, and other social media platforms.”

Republic TV has alleged that the very title of the Indian Express story would mislead any reader into wrongly believing that, as a matter of fact, payments were made by Goswami to Partho Dasgupta and that such a headline is squarely “deliberate and mischievous”.

The notice states that the news report deliberately omits to mention that the above statement was allegedly extracted by the Mumbai police from Partho Dasgupta under coercion and duress, is inadmissible in law, and has already been denied by Mr. Dasgupta himself.

“The news report is a vile, hateful, malicious attempt by you and part of a severely prejudicial campaign engineered and implemented by the Indian Express against our clients and aimed at attempting to irreparably destroy their reputation as well as the reputation of the Republic Media network… The malicious intent is to further your own corporate/commercial interests by defaming our clients”, reads the legal notice.

It was further pointed out that the investigation of the matter is underway and it is also pending consideration before the Bombay High Court, and that such biased reportage amounts to criminal contempt of Court. Point 9 of the notice strongly asserts:

“You have acted as a judge, jury and executioner in breach of all journalistic ethics and against the well-settled law. By concealing material facts, pronouncing our client guilty of TRP manipulation, even though the matter is pending investigation and is also sub judice, your assertions amount to criminal contempt of court and, it appears, that these are intended to further your own commercial and corporate interests through sensationalism at the cost of our clients’ reputation, and presumably to divert attention away from fact that the BARC audit report of July 2020 points towards the guilt of another channel.”

Besides cease and desist from reporting on such news and tendering an apology, a proposal on monetary compensation for the news report has been laid down in the notice served to Indian Express. It said, “Although the immense damage caused to our clients’ reputation cannot be sufficiently made good in terms of money, our clients seek your proposal on the monetary compensation that you are prepared to offer in addition to taking the above steps as your recognition and acknowledgment of your defamatory conduct and content.”

The notice sent through Phoenix Legal on January 26, mentions that if the Indian Express does not take steps in accordance with the notice within 24 hours, Republic TV will take appropriate legal steps.

Mr. Dasgupta was arrested on December 24 last year and his bail plea was rejected by the Sessions Court on January 20.

The notice may be read here: 



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