New Delhi, October 12: Four Bollywood industry associations and 34 leading producers have moved the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain Republic TV, Times Now, and other social media platforms from publishing irresponsible and defamatory remarks against Bollywood as a whole.

The suit has been filed in the wake of these channels using highly derogatory words and expressions for Bollywood such as “dirt”, “filth”, “scum”, and “druggies”, The Hindu reported.  

The producers who moved the High Court include Dharma Productions, Aamir Khan Productions, Ad-Labs Films, Ajay Devgn Films, Yashraj Films, Salman Khan Films, Ashutosh Gowariker Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures, Reliance Big Entertainment, Rohit Shetty Picturez, Vinod Chopra Films, and Kabir Khan Films. 

The producers and four Bollywood industry associations — the Film & Television Producers Guild Of India (PGI), the Cine & TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA), Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC) and Screenwriters Association (SWA) — have sought direction to the news channels to abide by the provisions of the Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks Rules. 

The suit stated that Bollywood is unique and stands on a different footing from any other industry as it is an industry that is dependent almost solely on goodwill, appreciation and acceptance of its audience.  

The livelihood of persons associated with Bollywood is being severely impacted by the smear campaign being run by the news channels and social media platforms. This is in addition to the ongoing pandemic which has resulted in extreme revenue and work opportunity loss, law firm DSK Legal said in a statement. 

“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 synonymous with criminal acts in the public imagination,” the statement said.

The suit, however, stated that the associations and the producers are not seeking a blanket gag order against media reportage of the investigation in the cases relating to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.  

It stated that the named news channels are conducting and publishing parallel private ‘investigations’ and effectively acting as “courts” to condemn persons connected with Bollywood as guilty based on what they claim is “evidence” found by them, thereby trying to make a mockery of the criminal justice system. 

The statement said the producers and associations are merely seeking “perpetual and mandatory injunction against the Defendants from carrying on reportage and publication of material that violates applicable laws”.

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