Param Bir Singh withdraws defamation suit against Arnab Goswami

Param bir singh Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: 14 December 2022 at 20:10 IST

Former Senior IPS officer Param Bir Singh unconditionally withdrew the defamation suit filed against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and ARG Outlier Media, seeking damages to the tune of ₹90 lakh.

Lawyer appearing for Param Bir Singh submitted to the Court that they wanted to withdraw the Defamation suit.

Param Bir Singh in his Defamation suit claimed that the channel had showed him in bad light in its reportage of the alleged fake Television Rating Points (TRP) scam.

Pradeep Gandhy Advocate appearing for Arnab Goswami filed an application seeking rejection of the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure last week. The same was served on Singh for his reply.

Advocate Pradeep Gandhy appearing for Goswami, however, stated that such a withdrawal should not be presumed as a settlement of the matter.

He also pointed out that due to the pendency of such matters at the behest of Singh, there was harassment to Goswami and hence imposing costs was important. Court directed Petitioner to pay costs of ₹1,500 to be payable directly to Arnab Goswami.

Earlier, in a detailed response to the suit, Arnab Goswami had stated that the suit was not maintainable especially in light of the fact that the plaintiff is no more the Police Commissioner.

Defendant submitted to the Court that, “Plaintiff has no cause of action to pursue the present suit as the plaintiff is no more the Commissioner of Police and, therefore, the present suit is not maintainable and the plaint ought to be rejected in limine,”.

Goswami contended that the suit had been filed by Singh in his capacity as Commissioner and since he no longer held that post, Singh has no cause of action against Goswami and his channel.

In light of this the suit should be rejected and dismissed with costs, the reply prayed.

Defendant submitted to the Court that, “The instant suit has been filed by in exasperation; Singh has not approached the Court with clean hands and filed the instant Suit with malafide intentions to teach the defendants and company a lesson without any basis and is not entitled to any reliefs whatsoever,”.

The TRP scam came to light when the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police through certain employees of the Hansa Group, found that ‘sampling metering services’ were being manipulated by paying people to watch particular TV channels.

They filed a chargesheet in November 2020 which indicated that Republic TV channels had benefitted from the scam and had tampered its viewership numbers to procure more revenue.

On the contrary, ED chargesheet stated that it did not come across any evidence either through statements or digital evidence that Republic TV or Republic Bharat had indulged in practices of manipulating TRPs.

The agency claimed that the investigation carried out by Mumbai Police seemed to be at variance with the probe conducted by ED.

Goswami stated that the present case alleging defamation against him and the channel was nothing but a case of malicious prosecution aimed at targeting, harassing and embroiling them in several cases.

“The entire investigation of the alleged TRP Scam by the Mumbai Police at the behest of Singh and political dispensation of the time was tainted and harbours malice is further established by the fact that Singh in an eight-page letter that he addressed to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 20 March 2021 has gone on record to admit that investigations were being guided in political directions”, the reply stated.

The reply pointed out that during his questioning by the Enforcement Directorate, Singh purportedly admitted that the TRP case especially against Republic TV was a hoax.

He also allegedly deposed that dismissed Mumbai cop Sachin Waze was receiving instructions from former State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in TRP as well as other cases.

Defendant submitted to the Court that, “Waze admitted that Deshmukh had personally wanted Goswami to be arrested in the TRP case. This beyond any iota of doubt proves the level of political, police and media conspiracy against the defendants and more particularly against Goswami,”.

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