Sunday, May 26, 2024
Advertisement
  1. You Are At:
  2. News
  3. India
  4. 'Public person should be thick-skinned...': Delhi HC refuses relief to Gautam Gambhir in defamation suit

'Public person should be thick-skinned...': Delhi HC refuses relief to Gautam Gambhir in defamation suit

Gautam Gambhir, a BJP MP, had filed a defamation case against the newspaper accusing its editor and two correspondents of abusing their journalistic freedom.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Published on: May 17, 2023 16:02 IST
The court also rejected Gambhir's request to have one of
Image Source : PTI The court also rejected Gambhir's request to have one of the news reports removed since it purportedly contained the word achhoot (untouchable).

Hearing a defamation suit filed by Gautam Gambhir against Hindi daily Punjab Kesari, the Delhi High Court refused to pass any interim injunction order in favour of former cricketer-turned-politician on Wednesday. Gambhir, a BJP MP, had filed a defamation case against the newspaper accusing its editor and two correspondents of abusing their journalistic freedom by publishing "a series of malicious and defamatory articles specifically aimed at him."

According to reports, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh did not pass any injunction order against the newspaper and listed the matter to be considered in October. The court also rejected Gambhir's request to have one of the news reports removed since it purportedly contained the word achhoot (untouchable).  

A public person should be thick-skinned: Court

"Any public person should be thick-skinned. With this social media and all even judges have to be thick-skinned," the court remarked. However, the bench did note that some of the terms or sentences used may not have been appropriate for the newspaper and that the stories highlighted by Gambhir did give the impression that the reporter of the newspaper was after the former cricketer.

"If you read all the articles, it is my prima facie opinion that the reporter is behind this person. Some of the words and sentences that he has used are not proper for your newspaper," the judge stated.

'Article in question is against normal journalistic practice'

Meanwhile, Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, appeared for Gambhir, contended that the article mentioned by the cricketer went beyond the bounds of fair and impartial reporting. "The two reporters, maybe at the behest of someone else, are targeting me. I ignored them on multiple occasions but this has been like a campaign. They are showing me as someone who is not interested in serving the people of my constituency and is busy with the IPL... One of the articles says that I practise untouchability," the counsel said.

Replying to this, Justice Singh said that a public person should not be so sensitive. "If the reporter has gone to the area and found such comments being made then... You are a public servant, an elected person, you need not be so sensitive," he added. Stating about normal journalistic practice, the former cricketer's counsel submitted that he is urging for an injunction and directives that the reporters should take Gambhir's version while publishing stories. 

Can't issue any blanket order: Court

However, the court dismissed the plea and clarified that it will not pass any blanket order. "There can't be a blanket order. What article is defamatory what is not... According to me, the first article is not defamatory. Any blanket order can't be there," Justice Singh said.

What Gambhir claimed in his lawsuit?

It should be mentioned here that Gambhir filed a lawsuit in which he referred to several reports as evidence to support his claim that the paper 'distorted' its stories in a 'misleading' manner. As argued in the lawsuit, one of the reports even drew a comparison between him and the mythical demon 'Bhasmasur'. Gambhir claimed that such reports mislead readers and harm his reputation by fabricating a negative narrative about his performance and integrity as a parliamentarian. 

According to reports, Gambhir has demanded a compensation of Rs 2 crore to be awarded to charitable organisations as damages. In addition, he has called for an unconditional apology from the defendants, which should be published in all newspapers, including digital versions, circulated by the particular media organisation in question.

Advertisement

Read all the Breaking News Live on indiatvnews.com and Get Latest English News & Updates from India

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement