As many as 38 producers from the Indian Film industry have filed a suit in the Delhi High Court seeking to curb the irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks being made against the film industry as a counter to the ‘Bollywood drugs mafia’ reportage being carried out by Republic’s Arnab Goswami and Pradeep Bhandari and Times Now’s Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar .
Production houses of Shah Rukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar, Aditya Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and all other major banners have all come together as plaintiffs in the suit. The Film &Television Producers Guild of India (PGI) and Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) have also joined the suit.
The suit was filed by DSK Legal for film industry, it stated,
“The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the Defendants. This is in addition to the ongoing pandemic which has resulted in extreme revenues and work opportunity loss. The privacy of the members of Bollywood is being invaded, and their reputations are being irreparably damaged by painting the entire Bollywood as criminals, seeped in drug culture, and making being part of Bollywood as synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination.”
The producers have taken exception to the phrases being used by these reporters to describe a so-called drug cartel operating in the film industry in the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
The phrases include, “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, “druggies” and expressions such as “it is Bollywood where the dirt needs to be cleaned”, “all the perfumes of Arabia cannot take away the stench and the stink of this filth and scum of the underbelly of Bollywood”, “This is the dirtiest industry in the country”, and “cocaine and LSD drenched Bollywood”.
The producers make it clear that they are not seeking a blanket ban on coverage related to the investigation in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
It is pointed out that these reporters have previously been penalized and reprimanded and have had orders passed against them by courts for irresponsible reportage and defamatory content against film industry. They have also previously been found guilty of broadcasting incorrect news, the producers claim.
It is also alleged that these news channels have been “openly flouting” the Programme Code framed under Section 5 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 contained in Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.
They have sought permanent injunctions against Goswami, Shivshankar & co “from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws”.
Here’s a full list of plaintiffs from film industry:
1. The Film &Television Producers Guild of India (PGI) 2.
The Cine & TV Artiste? Association (CINTAA)
3. Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC)
4. Screenwriters Association (SWA)
5. Aamir Khan Productions
6. Ad-Labs Films
7. Ajay Devgn Fflims
8. Andolan Films
9. Anil Kapoor Film and Communication Network
10. Arbaaz Khan Productions
11. Ashutosh Gowariker Productions
12. BSK Network and Entertainment
13. Cape of Good Films
14. Clean Slate Filmz
5. Dharma Productions
16. Emmay Entertainment & Motion Pictures
17. Excel Entertainment
18. Filmkraft Productions
19. Hope Production
20. Kabir Khan Films
21. Luv Films
22. Macguffin Pictures
23. Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment
24. One India Stories
25. R.S. Entertainment (Ramesh Sippy Entertainment)
26. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures
27. Red Chillies Entertainment
28. Reel Life Productions
29. Reliance Big Entertainment
30. Rohit Shetty Picturez
31. Roy Kapur Films
2. Salman Khan Films
33. Sikhya Entertainment
34. Sohail Khan Productions
35. Tiger Baby Digital
36. Vinod Chopra Films
37. Vishal Bhardwaj Pictures
38. Yashraj Films