The Times Network on Tuesday said that its news channel, Times Now, will not publish or air anything that was defamatory to the Hindi film industry. This came after four film industry associations and 34 producers filed a lawsuit in October against Republic TV and Times Now and a few of their anchors, alleging “irresponsible reporting”.
In a joint statement issued with The Producers Guild of India, which is one of the plaintiffs, Times Network said that they have settled the matter. “The application for settlement along with the consent terms is pending for acceptance before the Delhi High Court,” the statement said.
The statement added that Times Now will abide by the programme code under the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, according to the consent terms. “With the matter settled, the plaintiffs and The Times Group can look forward to building on their historically cordial relationship,” the statement added.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs had asked that the channels as well as social media platforms to “refrain from making or publishing irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks against Bollywood and its members”. It pointed out that both Republic TV and Times Now had used “highly derogatory” words for Bollywood such as “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” and expressions such as “this is the dirtiest industry in the country”, and “cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood”.
The lawsuit had come in the wake of the media reports around the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. However, a press release shared with Scroll.in said that the plaintiffs were not seeking a “blanket gag order” against media reportage of the investigation into the death of Rajput. “The plaintiffs are merely seeking perpetual and mandatory injunction against the Defendants from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws.”
The actors who were among the plaintiffs included Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma. The well-known filmmakers who are members of The Producers Guild of India are Rohit Shetty, Kabir Khan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, Rakesh Roshan, Ashutosh Gowariker, Ritesh Sidhwani, Sajid Nadiadwala, Luv Ranjan, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Vishal Bhardwaj, Zoya Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Abhishek Chaubey.