Actress Rakul Preet Singh on Saturday approached the Delhi High Court seeking an interim direction to the Centre, Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association
Actress Rakul Preet Singh on Saturday approached the Delhi High Court seeking an interim direction to the Centre, Press Council of India and the News Broadcasters Association to ensure that the media does not broadcast any programme or publish any article connecting her with the Rhea Chakraborty drug case.
The actress sought an interim order against the media till the time the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Mumbai, completes the investigation and files an appropriate report before the competent court.
The application, filed under a pending petition, is likely to come up for hearing next week. The high court had on September 17 sought the Centre’s reply on Singh’s petition to stop media reports from connecting her with the Chakraborty drug case and had said that the leaks to the media need to be investigated as “someone’s reputation is totally destroyed by this”.
In the application, she said she was in Hyderabad for a film shoot and on the evening of September 23, she was shocked to see media reports that NCB has summoned her to appear before it in Mumbai the next morning in connection with the drug case. However, she had not received any summons either on her Hyderabad address or Mumbai address and remained in Hyderabad.
The plea claimed that the media started running fake news to the effect that the actress who was in Hyderabad had supposedly reached Mumbai on September 23 evening for the NCB investigation. It said she received the summons on the morning of September 24 through WhatsApp after which she appeared before the NCB the next day to assist in the investigation and gave her written statement as to the facts in her knowledge.
The application claimed that the media continued to maliciously broadcast and publish fake news against her. On September 17, the high court had also asked all the authorities to treat her petition as a representation and take a decision on it expeditiously before the next date of hearing on October 15.
It had also expressed the hope that “media houses would show restraint in their reports and would abide by the cable TV regulations, programme code and various guidelines, statutory and self-regulatory, while making any reports with regard to the petitioner”. The actress claimed that on September 19, she gave a written request for a personal hearing to each of the respondents but except the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), none of them has replied.
She said the Association said her representation will be considered virtually on September 24 but it was not taken up after which she has filed a fresh application in the court.
The actress, in her petition, has claimed that Chakraborty had already retracted the statement in which she was allegedly named and yet the media reports were connecting her to the drug case.
The NCB probe has stemmed from the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. She has contended that based on unsubstantiated allegations defamatory programmes were being run in the media against her which was causing irreparable harm and injury to her.
The petition had also alleged that the ministry, PCI and NBA “have failed to discharge their statutory functions of ensuring compliance of their own directives, which has resulted in the flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioner”.