The owners of English news channel Times Now, Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, filed a criminal complaint against journalists Arnab Goswami and Prema Sridevi for allegedly stealing material they had procured while working there, The Economic Times reported on Wednesday. Goswami had aired the material on his new channel Republic TV.
The complaint was filed with the Azad Maidan Police Station in Mumbai.
In a statement, BCCL said it has accused Goswami and Sridevi of theft, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of property and infringement of Intellectual Property Right. BCCL has pointed out two news reports carried on Republic TV, in which they had used material procured while both journalists worked for Times Now, a BCCL-owned company. Goswami was the editor-in-chief of Times Now while Sridevi was a reporter there before they started Republic TV.
On May 6, the day Republic TV had been launched, the channel had carried an “exposé” on Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Uadav’s alleged consultations with criminal-turned-politician Mohammad Shahabuddin. They had played taped conversations between the two to establish their point.
On May 8, Republic TV played taped conversations between Sridevi and Sunanda Pushkar’s assistant to indicate that Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had a role to play in the death of his wife (Pushkar).
BCCL said, “Mr. Arnab Goswami and Ms. Prema Sridevi have on Republic TV admitted and claimed that the audio conversation in the Sunanda Pushkar case aired on 8th May 2017 was in their possession for the last two years when they were in their previous organisation i.e. with Times Now.” The company also accused both journalists of deliberately using the company’s intellectual property to their benefit.
Goswami is also engaged in a dispute with BCCL over the use of his catchphrase, “The nation wants to know.”
BCCL is also the publisher of The Economic Times.
Later in the day, the Republic put out the following statement: