New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday refused to grant a permanent prohibitory injunction to restrain journalist Arnab Goswami and Republic TV from reporting news and running shows on Sunanda Pushkar’s death until the investigation is complete.
“Counsel for respondent (Arnab Goswami) has given the assurance that he would bring down the rhetoric and exercise restraint," the court said on Shashi Tharoor’s plea to prohibit Goswami and Republic TV from airing any content on the death of Pushkar, his wife, till the investigation is complete.
“Free speech does not give the right to defame," remarked justice Manmohan. “Goswami must respect Tharoor’s right to silence...there is a need to balance the competing right of media to report and (one’s) right to remain silence," he added.
A prohibitory injunction can be issued only when there is no other “reasonable alternative", said the judge.
Justice Manmohan condemned the practice of a trial by media. “In criminal investigations, media should report sensitively and exercise care and caution," he said.
Earlier this year, Tharoor had filed a defamation suit against Goswami, claiming Rs2 crore in compensation and damages for maligning him while running numerous news stories and debates on Times Now and Republic TV, on the death of Sunanda Pushkar.
Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor’s wife, was found dead in a suite at Hotel Leela Palace in Delhi in January 2014. The matter is still under investigation.
The proceedings on the defamation suit would begin in January.