New Delhi/Lucknow, Sep 17 (IANS) A Lucknow court has restrained Indian Express (Pvt) Ltd (IEPL), its CEO, publishers and editors of the Indian Express and Jansatta newspapers, as well as a reporter, from publishing defamatory news items against the Sahara Group and its chief Subrata Roy.
The court clarified in its order that the restraint order would also be applicable to employees, agents, servants, associates or any other person associated with IEPL.
Passing the order, the Civil Judge (Sr Division) Malihabad, Lucknow, further said that the order would also apply on all newspapers as well as all electronic, commercial and other web portals of IEPL.
The court has also issued notice to the aforesaid respondents, seeking their reply on the civil suit on September 20.
The order came on the civil suit filed by Sahara India and others against IEPL and other respondents. In the suit, Sahara India submitted that Subrata Roy Sahara is a law-abiding person and established Sahara India in 1978. Sahara has several group companies in which lakhs of persons are employed directly or indirectly.
It was further stated that Indian Express and Jansatta Newspapers, owned by IEPL, published “several defamatory and incorrect news items” in the first and second week of September 2020.
“The news items were baseless, concocted and based on unverified facts. They adversely affected the image of Sahara India and its chief, Subrata Roy, damaging their image, goodwill and business,” the suit said.
It was further stated in the suit that the news items have attacked the personal life of Subrata Roy, and this is against the journalistic norms set by the Press Council of India.
After hearing the matter, the court, prima facie, expressed that IEPL and other respondents published baseless and defamatory news items against Sahara India and its founder. The court also found that the news items did not fall into any exceptions to the defamation principle.
In its order, the court said: “After perusal of the plaint and the affidavit filed along with it, it is clear that IEPL and other respondents have been publishing defamatory news items against Sahara group of companies, affecting its image and business.
“Hence the respondents are restrained by temporary injunction till the next date of listing.”
Sahara has also filed two criminal complaints against IEPL and others for publishing false and defamatory news items against Sahara and its chief.