Arnab Goswami accused of theft, even 'Sridevi' named in FIR

Times Group files criminal complaint against Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami for allegedly stealing. And even Sridevi has been named in the complaint, but don't worry it isn't the actress, but a reporter

Arnab Goswami
Arnab Goswami. File Pic

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), which owns TimesNow TV channel, on Tuesday lodged a criminal complaint against new rival channel Republic TV and its founder, Arnab Goswami, as well as journalist Prema Sridevi for infringing its copyright.

The complaint lodged the complaint at the Azad Maidan police station against Republic TV Chief Editor Arnab Goswami, who is the Managing Director of Messrs ARG Outlier Media Asianet News Pvt. Ltd., and his colleague, reporter Prema Sridevi, additionally accuses them of "theft, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of property".

Goswami, who was earlier the editor-in-chief of Times Now, launched his Republic TV on May 6 and on the first day carried an ‘expose’ on Lalu Prasad Yadav. The 'expose' had phone conversations between the former chief minister of Bihar and former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, the criminal-turned-politician while he was in jail.

Prema Sridevi
Prema Sridevi. Pic/Twitter account

On May 8, Republic TV aired another expose that broadcast the phone conversations between Sridevi and the late Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, and their house help Narayan.

In its complaint, the BCCL has referred to the two news exposes.

Goswami has virtually laughed off the charges saying, "it's interesting to see them get so nervous".

"I think they instinctively know they (TimesNow) have lost their audience (to Republic TV)," Goswami told IANS.

"It's amusing to see them get paranoid. Goliath is down to his knees, crying," guffawed Goswami.

The BCCL has contended that both the exposes -- the Lalu Prasad Yadav tapes of May 6 and the late Sunanda Pushkar (Tharoor) tapes - were procured and accessed while Goswami and Sridevi were employees of TimesNow and "clearly pointed out" in an internal probe.

The 25-page complaint said that Goswami and Sridevi have admitted on Republic TV that the audio conversation in the Sunanda Pushkar case was in their possession since two years, when they were part of TimesNow.

"Goswami and Sridevi have wilfully, deliberately and with knowledge converted for their benefit and used the aforesaid intellectual property of 'TimesNow' and thereby dishonestly misappropriated the said intellectual property, thereby committing the offence of criminal misappropriation punishable under the laws," the BCCL complaint said.

It pointed out that TimesNow owns several intellectual assets in the form of stories, audio-video content, documents, tapes, etc., gathered by its team of reporters and journalists during its newsgathering and broadcasting operations, and has therefore initiated steps to protect its intellectual properties against misuse.

(With Agency Inputs)

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