A court in Bengaluru on Saturday restrained 68 media houses from publishing unverified or defamatory content against six Karnataka ministers, Live Law reported.
The ministers in the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led Cabinet – Shivram Hebbar, BC Patil, Byrathi Basavaraj, Somashekhar, K Sudhakar and Narayan Gowda – had approached the court after their colleague Ramesh Jarkiholi, accused of sexually harassing a woman in return for a government job, resigned as the water resources minister.
Purported videos of the unidentified women and the minister, as well as some telephone conversations, were shared on social media. The videos were also aired by Kannada news channels.
The ministers claimed that the media had telecast news reports without verifying their sources and authenticity, which led to Jarkiholi’s resignation.
After hearing their arguments, Additional City Civil Judge Vijaya Kumar said: “Till the next date of hearing, defendants/opponents are hereby restrained by an Interim-Order of temporary injunction from broadcasting, telecasting or publishing or letting in circulation or posting or accommodating or transmitting or circulating any defamatory news items or showing footages and pictures referring to the plaintiffs in relation to the alleged CDs and committing any act or intentional omission which thereby causes character assassination of the plaintiffs on the basis of the unverified material.”
However, the order clarified that media houses can publish authentic news, Bar and Bench reported. The case will be heard on March 18 next.
A huge political row has erupted in Karnataka due to the allegations leveled against Jarkiholi. However, the former minister denied the accusations and said he was resigning on moral grounds.
The Opposition demanded that a first information report be registered against the Jarkiholi Meanwhile, Congress workers in Bengaluru also staged a protest against him.
Union minister Pralhad Joshi had on Tuesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party will take action against Jarakiholi after verifying the authenticity of the alleged videotape.