Times now contention is that the ‘exposes’ on the Congress leader, Shashi Tharoor, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav, which Goswami aired on his Republic TV, ‘displayed material (in the form of audio tapes and phone conversations) that was procured and accessed while Mr. Goswami and Ms. Prema were in the employment of Times Now.’ The complaint is preferred to the senior police inspector of Azad Maidan police station, Mumbai.
The complaint goes on to further state that ‘Mr. Goswami and Ms. Sridevi have willfully, deliberately and with knowledge converted for their benefit and used the aforesaid intellectual property of Times Now, and thereby dishonestly misappropriated the said intellectual property, thereby committing the offence of criminal misappropriation of property punishable U/Sec.403 of IPC and several other provisions under applicable laws.’ The other provisions of Indian Penal Code cited are Sections 378, 406, 409, 411, 414, 418 read with Section 66-B, 72 and 72-A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, further read with Sections 34 and 120-B of the IPC.
There was an official confirmation from the company to the effect that they had filed the complaint and further went on to add that it has been accepted by the Mumbai police and the matter is under investigation.
Before the filing of the complaint, Times Now had earlier sent a notice to Goswami claiming copyright on the phrase ‘nation wants to know’ and asking him not to use it.
To strengthen their side, Times Now had stated that ‘In fact, Mr. Arnab Goswami and Ms. Prema Sridevi have on Republic TV to having admitted and claimed that the audio conversation in the ‘Sunanda Pushkar’ case aired on 8th May 2017 was in their possession for the last two years when they were in their previous organisation, i.e., with Times Now,’ the channel said in the release.
Arnab Goswami, once a blue-eyed boy of Times Now, sought to hit back his former employer in an interview with The Indian Television.com by contending that ‘it’s a desperate attempt on the part of Times of India Group because it is losing. It is a ‘David versus Goliath battle’ because they have lost their viewership.
Instead of sitting in the police station they should have spent time in their newsrooms and looked at their contents. They are now unable to come to terms. Losing Goliath has made them desperate.
However, Arnab must know now rhetoric no longer works, as now the matter is before the High Court of Mumbai and when the matter is taken before the courts of law. High Court Justice Manmohan issued summons to the defendants Republic TV by observing that it was well-settled that an employee had to maintain confidentiality after they leave the employment. He went on to add that misuse and misappropriation of trade information would amount to infringement.
However, the justice hastened to add that the case in its preliminary stage and he could not proceed against Republic TV without hearing them.
As of now, it is unclear as to who has the upper hand because the complaint and counter-complaints appear to be evenly poised. For instance, Justice Manmohan questioned the BCCL as to why they had not given notice to Republic TV before knocking at the court. He further observed that the evidence produced before the court was insufficient, however, with the rider that if it was proved later that there was a misuse of data by Republic TV, appropriate relief would be granted to BCCL.
However, what is clear is now is that Times Now is paying heavily for having promoted that Arnab Goswami is the sole defender of what the Indian viewers want to know.
Tags: #Arnab Goswami, #Republic TV, #Times Now, #IPR, #BCCL, #criminal complaint, #India wants to know, # courting trouble