Looks like there is now an all-out war between the Times of India Group (BCCL) and Arnab Goswami, who was editor-in-chief of their English news channel Times Now.
Arnab left Times Now in November last year and soon it was known that he will start his own news channel Republic TV. The new TV channel is scheduled to launch in a few weeks’ time.
Recently, an interview of Arnab Goswami was published in Man’s World India magazine. We had reported excerpts from the same interview on OpIndia.com with our comments on April 12, 2017.
Times Group has now sent a legal notice to Arnab Goswami, to his company ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, to the Directors of his company, to the Company Secretary of his company, to the Man’s World magazine, and, believe it or not, to OpIndia.com!
In the legal notice, Times Group has accused Arnab Goswami of issuing libellous and defamatory statements that bring disrepute to the Times Group, which has a “global reputation and substantial goodwill as a fair, independent and realistic media house across varied platforms”.
The legal notice further declares that Times Now “is known among the viewers for true journalism and content it airs, basis the reliable information for its viewers”. It says that Arnab Goswami’s interview and comments made by him have caused “significant loss and prejudice” to the Times Group.
Man’s World magazine and OpIndia.com too have been accused by the Times Group of being a party in this defamation – a charge we at OpIndia.com deny. Nevertheless, we have removed the parts Times Group finds libellous.
From the notice it is clear that Times Group has not taken kindly to the comments made by Arnab Goswami, where he hints that a filmmaker had called a media proprietor to complain about a TV channel and the proprietor had got scared. This has possibly been deemed as a reference to Times Group and its Chairman.
The notice alleged that the interview was a deliberate attempt to demean Times Group and Times Now to gain mileage for the upcoming channel (Republic TV).
The notice further claims that the interview had levelled serious allegations accusing the Times Group of indulging in compromised journalism, and accused Goswami of making contradictory statements in the interview. The notice seeks withdrawal of the statements, deletion of the interview, and an apology.
If the defendants don’t comply with the aforementioned demands, the legal notice warns of civil and criminal proceedings including seeking monetary damages. The notice also asks the defendants, including us, to pay Rs 55,000 to Times Group as they had to bear this cost while drafting the notice.
Meanwhile it appears that this is not the only legal notice Arnab Goswami has been served. Earlier today, Arnab’s upcoming channel shared an audio message by Arnab where he says that a leading media house has sent him a 6-page letter warning against use of the popular phrase “The Nation Wants To Know” because they own it:
A message from Arnab. https://t.co/9YWkXptIG9 via @YouTube
— Republic (@republic) April 17, 2017
In the above audio message, Arnab claims that these legal threats are aimed at stalling and delaying the launch of his new TV channel and that his team members have been harassed and even threatened with “untoward action”.
“Do everything you can, spend all the money you have and arrest me. I am waiting right now in my studio floor. Come, enforce your threat.” Arnab says in his message.