BCCL lands Arnab Goswami in trouble.
Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), also known as the Times Group, sued Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami and a journalist with the channel on Tuesday, accusing them of theft, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of property and infringement.
Both the accused are former employees of the company’s TV channel Times Now.
In a complaint filed at the Azad Maidan Police Station in Mumbai, BCCL alleged that some material Goswami, and Republic TV’s News and Special Projects Editor Prema Sridevi aired on the newly launched channel, was actually “procured and accessed” while they were still working with Times Now.
|“On the first day of its launch Republic TV carried an expose on Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav in which audio tapes containing phone conversations between the ex-chief minister of Bihar and Shahabuddin allegedly while he was still in prison were played out. Another expose was done on Republic TV by Mr Goswami on 8th May, 2017 in which audio tapes of phone conversations between Prema Sridevi (ex News Reporter of Times Now) and the Late Sunanda Pushkar (wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor) and their house help Mr Narayan was broadcast. Both these exposes displayed material (in the form of audio tapes of phone conversations) that was procured and accessed while Mr. Goswami and Ms. Prema were in the employment of Times Now,” BCCL said in a press statement.|
Employees across most media companies are bound by contract, when it comes to the material they collect in the process of reportage. In its statement, BCCL explains it “owns” any “stories, audio-video content, documents, tapes, etc., gathered by its team of reporters and journalists during its news gathering and broadcasting operations,” which is its basis for suing Goswami and Sridevi.
BCCL claims its findings are based on an internal inquiry, and also both journalists’ own admissions on Republic TV. “Arnab Goswami and Ms Prema Sridevi have on Republic TV 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,” said the statement.
“Mr Goswami and Ms Sridevi have wilfully, 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,” it said.
The company claims it is suing Goswami and Prema to “defend its rights and protect its intellectual property against such misuse.”