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Union minister Sadananda Gowda brings gag order on media

The minister filed a petition expressing concern on possible "loss of reputation"

sadananda-gowda-pti (File) Sadananda Gowda | PTI

The Bengaluru City Civil Court on Friday passed an order restraining the media from publishing, circulating false, baseless and reckless news items against Union Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda till the next date of hearing.  

The temporary injunction was passed after the minister filed a petition expressing concern over the possible  "loss of reputation" due to false and frivolous news items being published in the media without any "justification" or "documentary evidence". 

Gowda took to Twitter to clarify his stand saying, "My rivals have tried to tarnish my image even in the past, around elections or cabinet formation. I totally respect the media freedom but I am forced to bring in a restraining order so that the media does not fall into my rivals' trap and end up telecasting wrong information. I hope my intent is clear." 

In the appeal, the minister's counsel had drawn the attention of the court to the fact that Gowda was a reputed person and has served as chief minister of Karnataka, state party president and currently holding various portfolios in the Union cabinet. And that the defendants (media) have started publishing false and frivolous news items and are making reckless allegations against the plaintiff without there being any justification or documentary evidence in support of their statements. The act of the defendants is causing damage to the reputation of the plaintiff and it is adversely affecting the close associates of the plaintiff and his family members, so it will affect his political career badly. The counsel has also posed apprehension that some persons are intending to take benefit of such reckless statements published by the defendants in their media thereby trying to create an uncomfortable environment and wants to remove the plaintiff from his portfolio. 

Terming the act of the defendants as illegal and that they were doing it under the guise of freedom of expression, the counsel argued that the defendants were entitled to freedom of speech and expression, but they had no right to cause damage to the image of the plaintiff. The court has restrained the defendants from publishing, circulating any defamatory statement or statements which humiliate and harass the plaintiff in the eyes of general public by passing temporary injunction, stating the plaintiff would otherwise be put to irreparable loss which cannot be compensated by any other means.


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